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Full text of "The Heritage Lodge no. 730, A.F. & A.M., G.R.C. : proceedings 1990-1991"

The Heritage Lodge 

No. 730, A.F.& A.M., G.R.C. 




Instituted: September 21 , 1 977 
Constituted: September 23, 1 978 



PROCEEDINGS 

Vol. 14, 1990 - 1991 

Worshipful Master: 

V.W. Bro. Wilfred T. Greenhough 

Editor: 

R.W. Bro. Jacob (Jack) Pos 



10 Mayfield Avenue, 

Guelph, Ont., Canada 

N1G2L8 

(519) 821 -4995 




THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER 
V.W. Bro. Wilfred T. Greenhough 

Initiated Lebanon Forest Lodge NO. 133, Exeter, Ontario, 1952 

Affiliated Zwiebrucken Lodge NO. 877 (R.C.A.F.), Germany, 1961 

Installed as Worshipful Master of Zwiebrucken Lodge No. 877, 1964 
Founding member of the American Canadian Provincial Grand Lodge. 

Affiliated St. John's Lodge No. 17, Cobourg,Honourary L. M., 1965 

Honourary Life Member Colbome Lodge No. 17, 1965 

Installed as Worshipful Master of Colbome Lodge No. 17, 1988 

Affiliated Tlie Heritage Lodge No. 730, as Life Member, 1984 
Jean Marie Raymond A.& A. S. R. (France), Lodge of Perfection 1964 

LaFayette Chapter of Rose Croix, 1964 

France American Consistory No. 1, Valley of Paris 1964 

Affiliated Peterborough Lodge of Perfection, 1968 

T.P.G.M. Peterborough Lodge of Perfection, 1987 

Affiliated Peterborough Chapter Rose Croix, 1968 

Affiliated Barrie Consistory, Barrie Valley, 1980 
A.A.O.N.M.S., MOSI^ Temple, Fort worth Texas, 

- Special Ambassador at Large, 1964 

Continued on page 2 



THE HERITAGE LODGE PROCEEDINGS 



Page No. 1 



V.W. Bro. W.T. Greenhough. cont'd: 

Iliram Council No. 24, Royal and Select Masters (LM), 1981 

- PTIM, 1990 
Kawartha Lakes Lodge No. 21, Royal Ark Mariners, 1981 

- PWCN, 1990 
St. John's Chapter No. 48, Royal Arch Masons (LM), 1973 

- Ex First Principal in 1978 and Grand Registrar, 1986 
Palestine Preceptory No. 18, Sovereign Great Peiory (LM), 1973 

- Perceptor, 1978 
Emanuel Perceptory No. 83, Charter Life Member, 1983 
Kawartha Council No. 143, Allied Masonic Degrees, 1984 

- SM, 1989 
3 Sovereign No. 210, Allied Masoniv Degrees, 1988 
Quinte College No. 53, York Rite Colleges of North America, 1984 
Southern California Research Lodge, SC, 1987 



PREFACE 

In reveiwing the activities of the past year, I am heartened with 
the accomplishments and positive progress being made by the various 
active committees of the Lodge. Several of which were initiated by 
my predecessors and carried to successful completion by the Standing 
Committees of the Lodge. 

Perhaps the most significant was the revision of the Lodge By- 
Laws under the Chairmanship of W. Bro. Donald Tliornton and the 
'Finance and By-Laws Committee'. Before these changes could be 
made, it was first necessary to amend the Constitution. Major 
changes concerning 'Research Lodges' were approved by Grand 
Lodge at the 135th Annual Communication held in Toronto, July 18, 
1990. 

Changes to our Lodge By-Laws have now been approved, and 
for the first time we will have available for distribution published 
copies of Tlie Meritage Lodge By-Laws. Tlie revised manuscript is 
currently in the hands of our Printer. 

We were pleased once again to welcome R.W. Bro. Wallace 
McLeod, this time as Guest Speaker for the Seventh Annual 
Heritage Banquet, held in the York Banquet Hall, Toronto. His 
topic, "The Universality of Freemasonry" was most illuminating and 
enjoyed by all. Tliis meeting also afforded us the opportunity to greet 
two special guests, Mrs Margaret Hesp and Mr. Russell Cooper, both 



THE HERITAGE LODGE PROCEEDINGS Page No. 2 



former members of the Black Creek Pioneer Village under the 
Metropolitan Toronto and Region Conservatio Authority. Appreci- 
ation was expressed to each for their very valuable assistance to llic 
Heritage Lodge in the establishment of the 'Lodge Room' in the 
Black Creek Pioneer Village as a window into our masonic past. 

I regret to announce that our Editor, R.W. Bro. Jack Pos has 
requested, positively, that the Lodge secure a replacement Editor. I 
therefore charge the current and incoming executive to find a 
candidate for the office of Editor. Anyone who may be interested 
should contact R.W. Bro. Frank Dunn. 

In conclusion, I thank the members of Tlie Heritage Lodge for 
giving me the honour of serving as the Worshipful Master. 

Wilfred T. Greenhough, W.M. 



EDITORIAL COMMENTS 

Tlie first paper for this year, titled "York/Toronto on the 
Square", was presented by V.W. Bro. Walter P. Ford, who look us on 
a historical walk through the streets of the Town of York, City of 
Toronto, to find the locations of Lodges of yesteryear, llie informa- 
tion was so inspiring that it prompted one of his reviewers to retrace 
those steps. Toronto masons will certainly appreciate this excursion 
into the past and be surprised to find a number of former Masonic 
meeting places still in existance. 

Tlie 'highlight' of our 7th Annual Heritage Banquet was the talk 
by R.W. Bro. Wallace McLeod titled 'Tlie Universality of Free- 
masonry'. Bro. McLeod very effectively reminded us all of how 
Freemasonry was ahead of governments and society in recognizing 
non-Anglicans, non-Englishspeaking people, and non-whites, as full 
and equal brethren. Not only are most people not aware of this, but 
many masons as well. 

On March 20th, 1991, we were invited to hold our regular 
meeting in the Osliawa Masonic Hall, where R.W. Bro. Wayne Elgie 
presented a comprehensive review of 'Masonic Boards of Relief in 
Canada and the United States. His approach to the historical 
sketches of the various Boards of Relief in Ontario is skilfully woven 
through a history of assistance and charity to sojourning Masons as 



THE HERITAGE LODGE PROCEEDINGS Page No. 3 



well as to many imposters and unworthy men who attempt to 
separate Masons from their money and property. 

The regular May meeting was hosted by Union Lodge No. 6 in 
Kingston, Ontario, where V.W. Bro. Allan Cohoe presented a paper 
titled 'From Time Immemorial'. May 15th was the day of the 
National Truckers Demonstration when they effectively blocked all 
east and west traffic on all major transportation corridors through 
and around Metropolitan Toronto. Your editor finally arrived at the 
place of meeting just as the Tyler was locking the door and leaving 
for the night, 

Bro. Cohoe's paper draws an interesting parallelism between 
Boethius' The Consolation of Philosophy , and the origin of concepts 
contained in the 'Old Charges'. After perusing this essay, the reader 
might ask the question "is there a parallel between some of the 
problems our fraternity faces today and the decline of the Pathag- 
orean Associations when they became involved in "political" ventu- 
res?" 

It should be noted that the procedure for paper presentation at 
the Regular meeting in May was that originally prescribed for all 
meetings of The Heritage Lodge. Tliis has not been observed for past 
several years. In this instance we have V.W. Bro. Cohoe's paper, 
which was circulated to the Reviewer's in ample time to allow them 
to prepare written comments, which were sent to Bro. Cohoe, also 
giving him sufficient time to prepare a formal response. 

By following the recommended procedure, the voluntary efforts 
of the Author and Reviewers provides the listening audience, as well 
as those who read these proceedings, a more complete and informa- 
tive review of the subject. It also stimulates a more fruitful informal 
discussion period from the audience. 

Now that the Lodge has purchased good quality amplifying and 
recording equipment for future paper presentations, we may be able 
to capture and edit some of the informal discussions for inclusion in 
these proceedings. 

Jack Pes, Editor. 



THE HERITAGE LODGE PROCEEDINGS Page No. 4 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 

SUBJECT PAGE 

Tlie Worshipful Master, 1 

Preface, 2 

Editorial Comments, 3 

Table of Contents, 5 

Disclaimer, 5 
YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE (1792 - 1899): 

- Presented by V.W. Bro. Walter P. Ford, 6 

- Reviewed by R.W. Bro. E.V. Ralph, 20 
THE UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY: 

- Presented by R.W. Bro. Wallace E. McLeod, 23 
MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF: 

- Presented by R.W. Bro. Wayne E. Elgie, 39 

- Reviewed by R.W. Bro. K.E. Whiting, 75 
FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL: 

- Presented by V.W. Bro. Allan J. Cohoe, 78 

- Review #1 by V.W. Bro. D.W. Clarke, 87 

- Review #2 by W. Bro. Peter M. Floyd, 88 

- Response to reviews, V.W. Bro. A.J. Cohoe, 91 
Our Departed Brethren, 94 
Lodge Officers & Committees, 95 
Application Form for Corresponding Subscriber, 97 

DISCLAIMER 

The contributors to these Proceedings are alone responsible for 
the opinions expressed and also for the accuracy of the statements 
made therein, and do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies 
of The Heritage Lodge. 



THE HERITAGE LODGE PROCEEDINGS Page No. 5 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE* 

1792-1899 

by 
V.W. Bro. Walter P. Ford 



FOREWORD 

Since its inception as 'Little York', Toronto has undergone many 
changes which have aUered the technical layout of the City and 
obscured the location of some Masonic sites. One such change was 
the use of Yonge Street as the eastAvest separation line whereas 
Berkley Street had been used previously, llie names of streets 
changed with realignment or extension so that when Yonge was 
extended south of Lot Street, Lot became Queen Street while 
Hospital became Richmond Street. The present King St. was 
originally Duke St. And New Street, which ran south from Hospital 
first changed to Nelson St. then to Jarvis St. Present day Front St. 
ended at Jarvis St. and was joined on to Palace St. while Market St. 
was renamed Wellington St. Present day addresses have been 
applied to this article and where this could not be done a description 
of the location is supplied. 



CREDITS 

Tlie Metropolitan Toronto research library has been the 
principal source of my data, however the scanning of the old prints 
in de Volpi's "Toronto, A Pictorial Record", Denby's "Toronto Lost" 
and Hounsome's "Toronto 1810" have provided a view of some of 
these Lodge sites as they used to be. Regrettably I am unable to 
reproduce them in their entirety but do recommend your perusal of 



* Paper presented at the Regular Meeting of Tlie Heritage Lodge 
held in the Preston-Hespeler Masonic Building, Cambridge, Septem- 
ber 19, 1990. Bro. Ford is a member of Astra Lodge No. 682 and a 
Past Grand Steward, G.R.C. A historical walk through the streets of 
the Town of York, City of Toronto, to find the locations of Lodges 
of yesteryear. 

YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 6 



these books along with Mulvany's Toronto, Past and Present and 
Adam's Toronto Old and New. Without the use of old Might's City 
Directories this task may have been impossible and I appreciate their 
availability. 

PREAMBLE 

Before we can walk the streets of York to seek out our Masonic 
Brethren we must build the town, populate it and guard it from 
invading forces. When Canada become a British possession the 
afore-mentioned requirements gradually became a fact and to the 
existing settlers of Scottish extractions, who had settled under 
Louis, King of France, were added more settlers from England, 
Ireland and Wales. More land was needed to accommodate these 
settlers hence the trek into Upper Canada. In order to maintain an 
orderly growth in the country the British government sent along 
Surveyors, Engineers, Clerks, Clergyman, Tax Collectors and the 
Military. From these groups came the start of Masonry in York. 

In 1792, a warrant was issued by the Duke of Kent, P.G.M. of 
Lower Canada, constituting Rawdon Lodge #13 to meet in York and 
it was in the hands of William Demont and John Kendrick. It was 
almost five years before their numbers grew sufficiently to initiate 
new members, hold elections and file returns to the Provincial Grand 
Lodge in Montreal.. The first recorded initiation in York was held 
May 27, 1797, the candidate was William Cooper. On a more 
sombre note the first Masonic funeral was conducted by Harmony 
Lodge #8 for a Bro. Alex Perry who lost his life by drowning at 
Scarborough in the Rouge River on December 11, 1800. Bro Perry 
is shown as having been a member of the Lodge at the York 
Garrison. 

Wm.Jarvis arrived in Upper Canada during the summer of 1792 
and spent the first winter at Newark, now Niagara-on-the-Lake, 
where he issued a Dispensation for the Queens Rangers to meet as 
Lodge #3. When the fort at York commenced in 1793, reached a 
habitable state the entire Garrison relocated to York. The lodge, 
although few in numbers, met in a building of which a portion was 
allocated to the Engineers who were attached to the Queen's 
Rangers. This building was situated at the upper end of the east 
perimeter where it joined the north end of the western barricades. 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 7 



^riie Fort underwent many changes from Simcoe's original sketches, 
both before and after the 1812/14 incursion. Tlie construction of the 
railway changed the local topography to such an extent that it is 
difficult to truly pinpoint the exact location of this building. A close 
estimate would place it on the site of the Commandant's quarters on 
the 1816 plan of the Fort. 

At the turn of the century a new fort was built and encompassed 
the old fort site, the Engineer's building was now located at the 
north juncture of the west wall and the north-west wall. Tliis site too 
has been altered by the railway lines but it was approximately 400 ft. 
to the left of the western entrance. Tlie Garrison Lodge continued 
to meet at the Engineer's building until the Regiment was disbanded 
May 12, 1802 and the Warrant was surrendered in August 1802. 

Should you happen to be viewing the Fort ask the Guides to 
point out the location of the building which Lieutenant Stretton 
Converted into a residence for his family. This was the second of the 
Engineer's buildings used as a Lodge site. 

Now let us walk the streets of York and Toronto and see the 
Lodge sites of its first 100 years as they are today. 



MASONIC MEETING SITES 
YORK 1792 THROUGH TORONTO DECEMBER 1899 

The most obvious place to start this Masonic walk is provided 
by ITathaway's "Jesse Ketchum and His Times" where he describes 
the arrival of Seneca's younger brother Peter. He disembarked at 
the Military wharf at the mouth of Garrison Creek and as he trudged 
up the pathway no doubt he could see the Flag post at the entrance 
to the Fort. He would later learn of the existence of the Lodge of 
the Queen's Rangers #3 and of their meeting place adjacent to the 
Guard house. As he neared the town he came upon some soldiers 
and requested direction to his brother's home. Upon mentioning his 
brother's name he was given instruction on how to reach his 
destination and was assured that as his brother was a well known 
Mason and he would have no difficulty should further direction be 
required. Seneca Ketchum was a member of Rawdon Lodge initially 
numbered 13 by the Duke of Kent, Provincial Grand Master of 
Lower Canada and Warranted in 1792. At the turn of the century 



YORK^ORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 8 



they were issued a new Warrant by Wni. Jarvis as #16 and left Craft 
Masonry becoming Royal Arch Lodge #16 and then were absorbed 
into St. John's Chapter. 

Initially being without a quorum their meeting places were 
many, a tavern on lower George St. owned by Mr. George Kerr, in 
the home of Mr. John McDougal at the s.e. corner of King and 
Frederick and a warehouse south side of Front west of George St. 
After five years they were of sufficient numbers to function as Fodge 
with meetings held at Mile's Tavern, s.w. corner of King and 
Sherbourne. With increased membership larger quarters were sought 
with a move to Marther's Hotel at the n.e. corner of King and Jarvis. 
When they received their new Warrant as Royal Arch Lodge and 
Chapter #16 they moved to Barrett's Hotel, n.w. corner of King and 
Jarvis. A further move in 1801 placed in the White Swan Tavern, 
n.w. corner of Front and Market Square where they remained for 
some time after the surrender of their Craft Charter. 

Let us proceed to the Sun newspaper building on King St. E. at 
Ontario St. Here at the south-west corner we find a parking lot, a 
far cry from the important place it was in the community during the 
early 1800's. Here was located Mr. Jordan's York Hotel, once a very 
thriving hostelry and used as temporary meeting place for Parliamen- 
tarians when the Legislature was destroyed by fire in the 1812/14 
conflict. It was here that Wm. Jarvis issued the Warrant for St. 
Andrew's #16 to meet as a Lodge upon becoming displeased with 
the direction St. George's #9 was taking. St. Andrew's became quite 
a dominating force in the Craft circles. At one time, being actively 
involved with the attempt to form a Grand Lodge of Canada, it pre- 
empted #1 for its own use. As we move westwards along King St. 
and reach Jarvis we find a third Lodge site, this was Marther's Hotel 
on the north-east corner where Rawdon #16 met. They moved to 
Barrett's Hotel, upon becoming Royal Arch Lodge, to the north west 
corner of King and Jarvis. The south-east corner of this intersection 
was the second site of Mile's Tavern where Harmony #8 met for 15 
years. This site was demolished and St. Lawrence Hall erected and 
for a time space was rented by St. Andrew's #16 as their Lodge hall. 
After passing the St. Lawrence Bldg. let us cross the lane and turn 
southwards to our left, here we see the eastern entrance to "The 
Shops on the Square", a rather appropriate name. As we enter the 
building we will see a theatre on our right, this is the closest mark we 
can find for the site of the Market Lane School, 14 Market Lane. It 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 9 



was the masonic home to St. George's Lodge #9 from 1820-25 and 
to St. Andrew's from 1823 for a six month period, again from 
1824/26 and 1829/34 with a final stay from 1840/43. 

Tlie Market Lane School was build primarily as a Masonic Hall. 
It was a two storey frame building with a cupola at the eastern end 
which was meant to house a bell but never did receive one. Access 
was gained to the Lodge room by a set of stairs at the west end of 
the structure while the lower floor served as a public school a Mech- 
anics Institute or library and a church on weekends. Tlie building 
fell onto hard times during the Morgan affair when lodges became 
dormant due to non attendance. Neglect was so severe that when 
the Craft began its revival and was of a mind to use the hall again it 
was found to be uneconomical for repair. It was sold for a trivial 
sum, nothing down and no records to show that it was ever paid for. 
Tlie end of an era for wooden structures. If we were to continue 
down the lane to Front Street we would reach the site of the White 
Swan Tavern wiiere Royal Arch #16 met. 

Walking through this fine building we exit via the west entrance 
onto Church St. at the one time Market Lane. Tliis was the site of 
Beard's Hotel and the masonic home for St. Andrew's #!6 from, 
1848/54 and to Ionic Lodge #25 from 1853/58. A left turn here will 
bring us to Front St. and as we cross towards the west we see a 
Toronto Dominion Bank at the north-west corner of Wellington St. 
and Church. Tliis location was the original site of a private home 
later converted into the Wellington Hotel. While it was a hotel the 
site was the meeting place for Toronto Lodge #8 who were the 
successors to Harmony Lodge #8 who met at the Miles Tavern on 
King. E., south-west corner of Jarvis. Proceeding north from 
Wellington we pass the site of the Western Assurance Bldg. 28 
Church St. south-west corner of Colborne, this was the meeting place 
of King Solomon Lodge #22 from 1853 to 1858. Tliis location was 
also used by Wilson Lodge #86 from 1857 to 1865 and is now an 
apartment complex. 

Continuing north to Court St. and Church this south-west 
corner, now a parking lot, was once the Odd Fellow's Hall from 
whom the Kiiig Solomon Lodge leased space from 1852 to 1853. 

Turning onto Court St. we arrive midway up Toronto St. There 
on the west side of the street we see the former third Toronto post 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 10 



office now the Argus Corporation offices. Ininicdiatcly to its north 
is the location of the Nordheimer Bldg. 14 Toronto St., the home of 
St. Andrews Lodge #16 from 1858/1899 and to Ionic Lodge #25 for 
the same period while King Solomon moved into the premises in 
1866 to 1899. Other lodges meeting here were Wilson Lodge #86, 
1866-99; Zetland #326, 1875-99; Doric #316, 1874-99; Rehoboam 
#65, 1866-99; St. John's #75, 1866-99; Harmony #438, 1895-99. 

As we walk south to King St. L. we see the facade of the newly 
renovated King Edward Hotel. At this site to the west of Leader 
Lane stood the Leader Press and next to it was Dixon's Hardware 
and Leather wares, 55-57 King St. E., King Solomon's Lodge #22 
rented Lodge space there from 1850-52 while Ionic #25 rented from 
1847-52. 

We will continue to walk west along King W. to Bay St. As we 
view the mass that is the Toronto Dominion Centre we must 
visualize that somewhere on the King St. face, alx>ut half way along, 
was a building known as Lamb's Hotel, 57 King W., which latterly 
became known as the Turton bldg., McKeeva's Recess. Tliis building 
was also occupied by St. Andrew's #16 from 1843 until 1848. 

Retracing our steps back to Bay St. we turn north towards 
Queen St. As we cross over at the north-west corner of Richmond 
W. we note a modern office complex. Prior to the end of the 
nineteenth century this was the location of what has been termed as 
one of the finest structures in Toronto. It was known as the Temple 
Building, built for the Foresters and became home to many of the 
City's fraternities, Rehoboam #65 was one of the earliest occupants 
having moved in during 1899 as did Stevenson #218 and Harmony 
#438. 

Having reached Queen St. W. at Bay we turn to the left and 
walk along the south side of Queen St. we now come to the last of 
the lodge sites in old York, the first is Mr. Truman's Tyronne 
Tavern. It was located at 125/127 Queen St. W. just across from 
Osgoode Hall. It was Mr. Truman's cows grazing on the lawn at 
Osgoode that brought about the installation of the special gates. 
King Solomon Lodge met at the tavern from 1845 until 1850 and the 
location is within the confines of the Provincial Supreme Courts 
Building. The next site is that of Occident Lodge #346, they met at 
507-545 Queen St. W. on the upper floor of a commercial building 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 1 1 



from 1876 through 1899. Tucked around the corner from Occident 
we have the site of St. George #367 at 175 Bathurst northeast corner 
of Richmond, their occupancy of this site ran from 1878 to 1899. 

Surrounding the town of York was a large tract of land known 
as the Home District covering MiUon in the west, Aurora to the 
north and the Rouge River to the east. These remote towns and 
villages were very much a part of our heritage but it would stretch 
our capabilities to delineate them into a walk. I shall show them by 
their dates of origins and location but first, remember that Colborne 
St. did not exist before the Market Lane Masonic Hall went into 
decline, it never was on Colborne as some researchers imply. 

Within the area immediately adjacent to York/Toronto were 
several well established lodges which are still existent today. To the 
east, just overlooking the Scadding bridge, was the village of 
Riverside. It was here that Orient Lodge #339 met at 71 McGee St. 
from 1875 until 1882 when the building became untenable and 
caused a move to 4 Bolton St. north-east corner of Queen St. E. 
where they remained until 1899 then moved to the St. Matthew's 
Parish Hall on Gerrard St. E. A second lodge came into being in the 
Riverside area during the year of 1890 and until 1899 the home of 
Acacia Lodge #430 was the Toronto East Masonic Hall, Gerrard St. 
E. 

Just to the north of Bloor St. in the small town of Yorkville we 
find Ashlar Lodge #247 occupying the upper floor of 801 Yonge St. 
south east corner of Collier. 'Hiey used these facilities from 1871 
until 1875 at which time they moved across the street into new 
quarters within the Yorkville town hall to the close of the century. 
A commercial building at the corner of College St. and 
Brunswick Avenue, north east, variously identified as #1, #3 and #5 
Brunswick, was occupied by Gcorgina Lodge, #343 from 1875 to 
1899. This building was destroyed by fire in the 1960's. 

Travelling north on Yonge St. we come to the Village of 
Pleasant and the site of Montgomery's Tavern of 1837 note. After its 
destruction by the Militia it remained derelict for several years. 
Eventually Mr. Montgomery rebuilt on the site and named the new 
tavern The Prospect House which became the site for York Lodge 
#156 from 1863 until 1871. The progress of York lodge was notable, 
they acquired property to the north of the Prospect House where 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 1 2 



they build their own Temple Building. Tliey moved from the 
southwest corner of Yonge and Montgomery to the north-west 
corner in 1871 and for ten years practised their craft until disaster 
struck in 1881. Tlie Prospect House took fire, flames were blown 
across the street, the York Temple was destroyed. Tlie building was 
purchased by the Township of North York and razed, a new building 
erected became the town hall and York Lodge became tenants until 
the turn of the century. 

Tlie village of Parkdale was home to two Lodges before the 
twentieth century arrived and the sorting-out of their respective 
addresses has been a real challenge, partly due to sketchy informa- 
tion within their minutes and to the incorporation into the city with 
realignment of property numbering. Alpha #384 was the first in the 
area and occupied what was referred as the Masonic Mall at the 
Parkdale firehall and located at present day number 1299 Queen 
St.W. TTiis building was their home from 1880 until 1895 at which 
time they relocated to the new Masonic Hall at 1483/87 Queen W. 
south east corner of Dowling and remained there until the latter part 
of 1899. 

Tlie second lodge in Parkale was Zcta Lodge #410, Warranted 
in 1885 and after a period settled in the former home of Alpha 
Lodge, 1299 Queen St. W. where they remained until the end of 
November 1899 at which time they moved into the new Masonic Hall 
at 1487 Queen W. 

To the north-west of Parkdale we have the area formerly known 
as the Junction, the present Toronto West. Tlie Masonic needs for 
the district was provided by Stanley Lodge, #426, they received their 
Charter in 1890 and met at 34 Dundas St. E., which was at the time 
the Chambers above the Bank of Hamilton on the north-east corner 
of Dundas E. at Heintzman. Tliey remained at this location until the 
end of 1899 and with incorporation into the City this portion of 
Dundas St. was changed from east to west. TTie bank was demol- 
ished and a new building on the site was assigned the number 3 
Heintzman and is occupied by the Salvation Army. 

Continuing west along Dundas St. will bring us to the sites of 
Mimico Lodge #369 in IsHngton. From 1878 until 1882 they utilized 
the rooms above the driving shed of Brownridges Hotel, northeast 
corner of Dundas St. W. at Burnamthorpe Rd. After acquiring the 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 13 



property and erecting a Temple they moved into 4238 Dundas St. W. 
where they remained more than 70 years. 

Approximately 9 miles (14.5 km) northwest of the city the town 
of Weston came into being. It was a husthng and bustling town and 
many Masons from the British Isles took up residence there. It was 
not too long before they got together and petitioned for a charter 
which was granted in July 1874 in the name of Humber Lodge #305. 
Tliey met in the Eagle House Hotel which was located at the 
northeast corner of Weston Rd. and Lawrence Ave. Tliis building 
was demolished in 1969 and perhaps some Brethren can recall the 
Shell gas station to the rear of the old hotel, it was a stable for the 
guest's horses. When Grand Lodge made overtures against strong 
drink in Lodge facilities Mr. Eagle, the proprietor of the Eagle 
House, offered to build a new meeting place but it was decHned and 
in 1880 Humber moved to King St. Tliey occupied a building 
owned by William Tyrrell on the north side of King St. some where 
between the site of the present Library and George St. Tlie 
Assessment rolls show the address as Concession 5 Lot 6. After six 
years at the King St. location space became available on Church St., 
north side near Cross St., in a former Methodist Chapel Tliis 
building was also used by the Oddfellows and seems to have been 
quite amicable as Humber remained there well after World War 1 
when they moved into their own building which they still occupy. 
Tlie Oddfellows Hall is still in the existence at the time of this 
writing. 

Prior to 1878 ten Lodges met in Toronto but there were none 
west of Bathurst St. until 1880 when Alpha Lodge 384 was formed 
in the village of Parkdale, it was soon followed by Zeta Lodge 410 
in 1885. 

The Toronto District was then comprised of eight Lodges in the 
immediate vicinity, York 156 at Eglinton, Zeredtha 220 at Uxbridge, 
Ionic 229 at Brampton, Ashlar 247 at Yorkville, Humber 305 at 
Weston, Brock 354 at Cannington and River Park 356 at Streetsville. 
Two Lodges received dispensation that year, St. Georges 367 and 
Mimico 369 along with a general redistribution of the Lodges. 

Continuing growth of the Toronto District reached such 
proportions that it became impossible for one District Deputy to 
administer the duties in his area. 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 14 



Al the annual Communication of July 20, 1898, the District was 
divided into Toronto West #11 and Toronto East #11 A as follows; 

West #11 



Vaughan 54 
True Blue 98 
Union 118 
Ionic 229 
Patterson 265 
Robertson 292 
Blackwood 311 
River Park 356 
H umber 305 
Alpha 384 

East #11 A 



Mimico 369 
York 156 
Stanley 426 
King Solomon 22 
Rehoboam 65 
Wilson 86 
Ashlar 247 
Zetland 326 
Occident 346 
Harmony 438 



Richmond 23 
Markham Union 87 
Sharon 97 
Rising Sun 129 
Richardson 136 
Zeredetha 220 
Brougham Union 269 
Brock 354 
St. Georges 367 
Zeta 410 



Doric 424 
Acacia 430 
Orient 339 
St. Andrews 16 
Ionic 25 
St. John's 75 
Stevenson 218 
Doric 316 
Georgina 343 



The passage of time had a most devastating effect on the early 
structures in "Old York". Being built of wood and given the poor 
drainage of the land they fell victims of dry rot at ground level so 
that within seven years were in need of serious repair or replace. 
The second series of buildings were more durable since stone, brick 
and mortar were now available but they fell as victims of fire or the 
wrecker's hammer to make way for larger and taller structures. In 
some cases fate has been kind to our old lodge sites and are 
occupied by such note worthy buildings as the Provincial Supreme 
GDurt and the Toronto Dominion Centre. 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE 



Page No. 1 5 



You may notice that there were two separate locations for "Miles 
Tavern", this is due to Abner Miles having sold his business to 
William Cooper and relocated to King and Jarvis. 

A work of explanation would be in order now on the subject of 
two Lodges with the same number, Harmony and Toronto as #8. 

A charter was issued to a group of Brethren to meet as Harmony 
Lodge #8, although they were authorized in 1796 very little is on 
record to indicate their activities until 1799. Tlie Upper Canada 
Gazette & Western Oracle reported that the Brethren of Harmony 
Lodge #8 conducted the first Masonic funeral service in York for 
Bro. Alexander Perry of Scarborough. Bro. Perry was drowned in 
the Rouge river on December 11, 1800 and had formerly been a 
member of the Queen's Rangers at the York Garrison. Harmony 
surrendered the Charter on Jan. 12, 1811 and a petition was granted 
by Rt. Wor. Bro. Jarvis to a group of Brethren to meet as Toronto 
Lodge #8 on June 1811. Tliere were no reports submitted for two 
years and they were considered dormant in 1817. 

Tlie old sites as visited on Sept. 1, 1894 were occupied as follows; 
Miles Tavern, King St. sw Sherbourne, old building and shops. 
Mather's Hotel, ne King & Jarvis, old building and store. 
Barret's Hotel, nw King & Jarvis, Bank. 

Miles Tavern, sw King & Jarvis, St. Lawrence Market Building. 
White Swan Tavern, nw Front & Market, Apartments and shops. 
Ft. York, Garrison, First Fort demolished. 

Second Fort, modified but existent. 
Wellington Hotel, nw Wellington & Church, T.D. Bank. 
Market Lane School, 14 Market Lane, "Shops at Market Square". 
Ridout Residence, nw Wellington & Dorset, parking lot. 
Turton Building, 57 King W., Toronto Dominion Centre. 
Beard's Hotel, ne Church and Colbourne, "Shops at Market Square". 
St. Lawrence Bldg., King & Jarvis, still present. 
Jordan's York Hotel, 293 King E., Parking lot. 
Nordhiemer Bldg., 14 Toronto St., office building. 
Temple Bldg., nw Bay & Richmond, office complex. 
Tyronne Tavern, 125 Queen W., Provincial Supreme Courts. 
Dixon's Hardware, 55 King St. E., The King Edward Hotel. 
Odd Fellows Hall, Church & Court St. parking lot. 
Western Assurance Bldg., 28 Church, apartment building. 
507/545 or 639/647 Queen W., commercial building. 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 16 



175 Balhurst St., tavern. 

71 McGee, old houses. 

1299 Queen W., Storage Business. 

1487 Queen W. at Dowling, Community Centre. 

Prospect House, sw Yonge & Montgomery, Postal Station. 

York Temple, nw Yonge & Montgomery, Police Station. 

Yorkville Town Hall, Yonge & Yorkville, Store and parking lot. 

801 Yonge at Montieth, Metro Toronto Library. 

5 Brunswick Ave., Parkette. 

Brownridge Hotel, nw Dundas & Burnamthorpe, Tavern. 

Bank of Hamilton, 34 dundas E., now Salvation Army Hostel, 

3 Heintzman Ave. 
Lambton Mills Temple, 4238 Dundas W., Demolished. 
Weston Temple, Eagle House Hotel, ne corner Lawrence and 
Weston Rd., now apartment and office complex. 

" Moved to north side of Church St., Odd Fellows Hall still 
on site. 

Tliis completes my review of York/Toronto Lodge sites from 1792 
until 1900. It was my intention to cover the first 100 years of York 
ending at 1892 but when I noticed that only one lodge had been 
instituted after 1892 I decided to include it in my work. Much to my 
surprise I discovered that in 1898 Grand Lodge expanded the 
Toronto jurisdictions to such a vast extent that it would required ten 
times more input for one-tenth return. These outlying Lodges are 
mentioned briefly in the chapter of the two Toronto Districts and I 
am certain that many chapters could be written on each one. 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 17 



CHRONOLOGY 



Lodge 



Date 



Meeting Place 



Rawdon #13 LC 1792-1799 



Rawdon #16 UC 
Royal Arch #16 



1799-1600 
1800-1801 
1801-1821 



Queen's Rangers #31793-1802 
Harmony #8 1796-1811 

Toronto #8 1811-1817 



St. Georges #9 
St. Andrews #16 



1820-1825 
1822-1823 
Apr.-Oct./23 
Nov.-Dec./23 

1824-1826 
1834-1840 
1840-1843 
1843-1848 
1848-1854 

1854-1858 
1858-1899 
1899- 



King Solomon #22 1845-1850 

1850-1852 
1852-1853 
1853-1858 



1858-1865 
1866-1899 
1847-1852 
1853-1858 

1858-1899 

1856-1899 

1899- 

1856-1899 

1899- 



lonic #25 



Rehoboam #65 
St. John's #75 



Miles Taverns, swcor. King & Sherbo- 
urne 

Marther's Hotel, ne cor. King & Jarvis 
Barrett's Hotel, nw cor. King & Jarvis 
White Swan Tavern, nw cor. Front & 
Market Sq. 
Fort York Garrison 
Miles Tavern, sw cor. King & Jarvis 
Wellington Hotel, nw cor. Wellington & 
Church 

Market Lane School, 14 Market Lane 
Jordans York Hotel. 293 King St. E. 
Market Lane School 
Res. Geo. Ridout, nw cor. Wellington 
& Dorset 

Market Lane School 
Dormant 

Market Lane School 
Turton Building. 57 King St. W 
Beard's Hotel, ne cor. Church & Colb- 
orne 

St. Lawrence BIdg., King St. E. & Jarvis 
Nordheimer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
Temple BIdg., nw cor. Bay & Rich- 
mond St. 

Tyronne Tavern, 125/27 Queen St. W. 
Dixon's Hardware, 55 King St. E. 
Oddfellow's Hall, Church & Court St. 
Western Assurance BIdg., 28 Church 
Street. 

Norhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
28 Church St. sw cor. Colborne St. 
Dixon's Hardware, 55 King St. E. 
Beard's Hotel, ne cor. Church & Colb- 
orne 

Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
Temple BIdg., nw cor. Bay & Richmond 
Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
Temple BIdg., nw cor. Bay & Richmond 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE 



Page No. 18 



Wilson #86 


1857-1865 




1866-1899 


Stevenson #218 


1869-1899 




1899- 


York #156 


1863-1871 




1871-1899 


Ashlar #247 


1871-1875 




1875-1899 


Number #305 


1874-1880 




1880-1886 




1886-1899 


Doric #316 


1874-1899 


Zetland #326 


1875-1899 


Orient #339 


1875-1882 




1882-1899 


Georgina #343 


1875-1899 


Occident #346 


1876-1899 


St. George #367 


1878-1899 


Mimico #369 


1878-1882 




1882-1899 


Alpha #384 


1880-1885 




1885-1899 


Zeta #410 


1885-1899 




1899- 


Stanly #426 


1890-1899 


Acacia #430 


1890-1899 


Harmony #438 


1895-1899 




1899- 


Please Note: 


Market L; 



Western Assurance BIdg., 28 Church 

St. 

Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 

Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 

Temple BIdg., nw cor. Bay & Richmond 

Prospect House, sw. cor. Yonge & 

Montgomery 

Masonic Hall/North York Town Hall, 

nw cor. Yonge & Montgomery 

801 Yonge St. sw cor. Collier 

Yorkville Town Hall, Yonge & Yorkville 

Eagle House Hotel, nw cor. Weston 

Rd.& Lawrence 

King St.. Weston 

Oddfellows Hall, Church St.. Weston 

Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 

Nordhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 

71 McGee St. 

4 Bolton St. at Queen St. E. 

5 Brunswick Ave., ne cor. College 
507/545 Queen St. W. nr Bathurst 
175 Bathurst at Richmond W. 
Brownridges Hotel, Dundas St. & 
Burnhamthorpe 

Lambton Temple, 4238 Dundas St. W. 
Masonic Temple, 1299 Queen St. W. 
New MAsonic Hall 1483 Queen St. W. 
Old Masonic Hall. 1229 Queen St. W. 
New Masonic Hall, 1483 Queen St. W. 
3 Heintzman Ave., ne cor. Dundas St. 
W. 

Toronto East Masonic Hall, 4 Boulton 
St. at Queen St. E. 
Norhiemer BIdg., 14 Toronto St. 
Temple BIdg., nw cor. Bay & Richm- 
ond. 



Market Lane was one street south of King St. E. 



and ran from Church St. east into Market Square. 



W.P. Ford 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE 



Page No. 19 



REVIEWS OF PAPER PRESENTED TO 
THE HERITAGE LODGE 

September 19, 1990 

by 
V.W. Bro. Walter P. Ford 

YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE 



FIRST REVIEW - was prepared by R.W. Bro. Fdmund V. Ralph, a 
Charter Member of Tlie Heritage Lodge. 

V.W. Bro Walter P. Ford has done what I would have liked to 
have done and never got around to it. I have noted that he has 
called the paper a "walk through" and not a "walking tour", but it is 
written as a "historical walking tour". I managed to actually walk the 
tour recommended by Bro. Ford and found it most interesting. I did 
the tour mainly for historical valuation purposes and to try and 
imagine for myself what it would have been like attending various 
lodges before 1900 within the city of Toronto. 

The paper deals with what was our masonic "built heritage". I am 
hopeful that this is not our last one on this subject. Sometimes I 
think that we modern day freemasons do not have enough pride in 
our buildings. If this paper does nothing else, it shows that the 
problems the mason had in maintaining their buildings are really no 
different than we have to day. For me there is a clear message in 
this paper that we have to make more efficient economical use of 
our lodge buildings than we have ever done. We cannot continue 
paying rents that use up the largest proportion of our lodge dues. 

In order to appreciate the quality of this paper, one has to under- 
stand how difficult it is to get this type of information compiled. It 
is safe to say that the information is not all in the same place. It is 
therefore tedious and detailed work to construct the information. I 
compliment Bro. Ford on the time table of lodge occupancies in the 



YORKyrORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 20 



buildings at the end of the paper and the accuracy in general of the 
written paper. 

1. Ashlar Lodge #247 was formed in the Village of Yorkville 
Town Hall and paid $8.33 per month for their space. Tlie dates 
should be reversed, because this was after their first meeting place 
(Source: 1935 History of Ashlar Lodge by Lew Riggs). 

2. Accurate dates are really not that important, but it does make 
a difference in the case of St Johns Lodge because the Nordheimer 
Building was not built until 1857 and occupancy of it is shown by 
Ford as 1856 (Source: "Lost Toronto" by William Dendy). Ilie 
significance of the Nordheimer Bldg. is that it was, I beUeve, the 
first time Toronto lodges signed a joint lease. Tlie lodges were King 
Solomon's, St Andrew's, Ionic, Reholx)am and St John's which is 
verified from Bro Ford's research and confirmed in the James Bain 
History of St Andrew's Lodge, 1868. Bro. Ford has rightly indicated 
that the Building was known to the citizens of Toronto as the 
Masonic Hall and not Masonic Temple. I believe it was primarily 
these Lodges, the Scottish Rite and Ashlar Lodge which were the 
power behind the building of 888 Yonge Street. 

In all fairness the story of 888 Yonge Street is not part of this paper 
but stories like this is what makes history interesting. 

3. It would have added to the paper to have included the 
buildings used by the Scottish Rite at 111-113 King St. W. and 2 
Gloucester St. ("Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Valley of Toronto", 
by Fred Branscombe). Tlie use of Lodge rooms by the Toronto 
Royal Arch Chapters would have also been useful for this period. 

4. It is my view that historical research must link the past with 
the present or the future. I find that the paper does not attempt to 
make any observations or conclusions from the research. Neither is 
there any anecdotes about the Masonic Community of the day or the 
lodge deliberations on their moves, the owners or architects of the 
buildings nor the non masonic significance of the buildings e.g. One 
could have looked at the transition from meeting in hotels to 
meeting in other places; or studied the development of the conse- 
cration ceremony for lodge rooms; or the masonic committees and 
boards which managed the buildings: or the changing interior 
furnishings of the lodge. I have noted from the paper that the 
Provincial Parliament had to meet in the Jordan Hotel where a lodge 



YORKATORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 21 



met because the Americans burnt the first parliament Buildings in 
1813. Tliis is the type of information that lends itself to meaningful 
historical information. 

Between the lines however, V.W. Bro. Ford has painted the 
following picture for me: by the 1850's there was a trend away from 
the use of hotel rooms to other less public buildings; masonic 
ownership of lodge buildings (i.e. as opposed to leasing) did not 
occur until about the 1870's when some of the rural lodges became 
owners of their own buildings. Tlie real story that remains to be told 
in detail is from the 1900's to the time of building 888 Yonge Street. 
At that time the Masons of Toronto were united in wanting their 
own Home, i.e. a single purpose building for Freemasonry, so badly 
they ignored the necessity for a commercial revenue to supplement 
the lodge dues revenue— a legacy which we in Toronto are locked 
into today. 

I like the research. I think it is a significant contribution. I like 
the subject because it can tell many stories. I see it, however, as a 
beginning. 

E.V. Ralph 



YORK/TORONTO ON THE SQUARE Page No. 22 



THE UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY 

by 
R.W. Bro. Wallace E. McLcod 



We sometimes have trouble recognizing that all human beings 
are the children of God, that (as Saul of Tarsus told the Athenians) 
God has "made of one blood all nations of man for to dwell on all 
the face of the earth" (Acts 17:26). Almost automatically, we tend 
to practise discrimination. It's all too easy to find examples, even 
among those who should be closest to our hearts. In recent years a 
few female journalists and academics have been reminding us that 
some forms of standard English are sexist, and can be offensive to 
thoughtful women. Tliey object to the fact that such terms as 
chairman, mailman, fireman, and policeman are used for jobs that a 
woman can do. For my part, I always say that the word "man" in 
English has two meanings: first, a member of the human race; 
second, the male of the species; and that, grammatically speaking, 
the "default gender" is masculine. I am correct as a linguist, but the 
feminists point out correctly that the language has evolved through 
eight thousand generations of patriarchal society. 

Tlie Scriptures provide ample evidence of a male-dominated 
society. In the Garden of Eden, God said to the first woman, "Thy 
husband ... shall rule over thee" (Genesis 3:16). When we turn to the 
New Testament, we encounter such passages as, "Let your women 
keep silence in the churches; for it is not permitted unto them to 
speak.... And if they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands 
at home" (1 Corinthians 14:34-35); "Wives, submit yourselves unto 
your own husbands.... For the husband is the head of the wife" 
(Ephesians 5:23-24); "Ye wives, be in subjection to your own 
husbands" (1 Peter 3:1). Is this the will of God? I would argue 
rather that a form of prejudice is ingrained in the language, and in 
our Volume Of the Sacred Law, and that prejudice is directed 
against one-half of the human race. 

Again, perhaps as many as eight percent of all people are 
left-handed. Do you recall the time when you went to school? Was 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 23 



there any provision made for ihem? In more recent years changes 
have crept in. There are now desk-seats for the left-handed. But 
some things never change. We can all think of athletes who are 
known as "Lefty." Did you ever hear of anyone whose nickname was 
"Righty"? What do we mean when we say that somebody is "sinister," 
or "gauche"? (These are the Latin and French words for "left.") 
What do we mean by a "left-handed compliment"? Tliis deep-set 
prejudice is aimed at people of our own age, culture, background, 
education, society! How much worse we are if they have a different 
religion, or if they look different! 

In fact, it does not seem to be natural to mankind, as a group, to 
be terribly tolerant, or thoughtful, of those who are different. In 
general, "different" people tend not to be accepted. In some sense 
this must be an inheritance from the distant past, when the family, 
or the village, or the tribe, had to be ready to stake out its terrain 
and defend it against outsiders. How much easier it would be if we 
could always think the worst of those others! And we could do this 
because we didn't know them very well. Tlie British writer J. B. 
Priestley, in his essay "On Hating Strangers," tells a story about a 
great figure of literature. "[Charles] Lamb was once holly assailing 
the reputation of a certain person, when his hearer, rather surprised 
at this outburst, interrupted it to say that he had no idea that Lamb 
knew the man in question. 'Know him!' Lamb exclaimed. *Of course 
I don't know him. I could never hate anyone I know.' .... Most of us 
could, in all sincerity, have made exactly the same reply.... We 
reserve our real hatred for people we do not know." {!}** 

There is, as we all know, a tremendous collection of racist jokes 
and stories. {2} They are about my ancestors, the Scotch, and about 
my mother's people, the Irish, and alwut the English, and about the 
Poles, and the Itahans, and the Greeks, and the Jews, and about the 
Chinese, and the Blacks. Some are nasty, some are a bit funny. Part 
of the humour, and part of the nastiness, in such jokes depends on 
stereotyping, that is, in assuming that every member of a particular 
ethnic group shares certain characteristics. 

Now, don't get me wrong. Not all stereotyping is based on 
fiction. Some groups of people, for reasons of upbringing, or 

♦♦ Numbers in brackets {} refer to references, see 'NOTES'. 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 24 



environment, tend to behave in a consistent way. My people, tlie 
Scotch, are parsimonious, because the land from which they spring, 
Scotland, is a poor land, and the inhabitants have to be careful in 
order to survive. That is a fact, and there's no harm if people 
recognize the fact, and I can live with it if they laugh at me and my 
people because we are "cheap." Still, it doesn't make me happy, and 
it would be nicer if they didn't make fun of me. But sometimes I 
wonder if we've gone too far in our reactions. Not too long ago the 
Canadian author Robertson Davies had this to say about such things: 
"Nowadays if you're funny at anybody's expense they run to the U.N. 
and say, *I must have an ombudsman to protect me.' You hardly 
dare have a shrewd perception alx)ut anybody. Tlie only people you 
can abuse are the WASPs. Tliey're fair game." {3} In the final 
analysis, I have no objection to people calling me a cheap Scotch- 
man; but I don't think they ought to treat me unfairly or unjustly 
because of it. 

Now I want to talk a for a few minutes about the Universality of 
Masonry. Modern Freemasonry is descended from the British 
operative masons of six hundred years ago; at that time the masons 
were all English-speaking, white-skinned Caucasians, and their 
religion was Roman Catholic. With the Reformation in England, 
they became white English-speaking Anglicans. In those days, white 
English-speaking Anglicans were the only ones with any political 
rights in England; all others were subject to discrimination by 
society. What I want to do this evening is to remind you of how far 
ahead of society Freemasonry was in such matters. 

In England, according to the Test Act of 1673, all office holders 
under the Crown had to take their sacraments according to the usage 
of the Church of England. A further Test Act of 1678 stated that 
Members of Parliament and Peers of the realm had to make an 
affirmation of religious belief. These Test Acts served to exclude 
other Protestants, and Catholics, and certainly non-Christians, from 
holding any sort of public office. (Admittedly, from 1729 on 
Dissenting Protestants were able to escape some of the restrictions, 
by what were called annual indemnity acts.) But not until 1828 were 
the Test Act and the Corporation Act repealed. After that date, in 
place of the sacramental test, the person had to make a declaration 
"on the true faith of a Christian." This at least opened the doors to 
Protestant Dissenters. 



UNIVERSALlPi' OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 25 



But as well as religious prejudice, there was racial prejudice in 
England. In 1762 John Stuart, 3rd Harl of Bute, became Prime 
Minister of Britain. We are told that he was "hated by the populace 
for being ... a Scotsman ..., and he was mobbed on his way to the 
Guildhall banquet." Or again, as late as 1835, Sir John Campbell, 
the British Attorney-General, was referred to in a London newspaper 
as "this shrewd, coarse, manoeuvring Pict, ... this booing, fawning, 
jobbing progeny of haggis and cockaleekie" — which sounds pretty 
racist to me. {4} 

How did Masonry fit into this? More than a century earlier, in 
September 1721, the Grand Master ordered Rev. James Anderson to 
prepare a new Book of Constitutions. He was of course a Scotch- 
man, from Aberdeen, and a Presbyterian. In Scotland, he would 
have belonged to the established church; but he was living in 
England, as minister of the Swallow Street Scotch Presbyterian 
Church in London, and I assume that that he was subject to the Test 
Act. Here was this Scotchman, this Presbyterian, a man excluded 
from all forms of public life, acting as Secretary of the Grand Lodge 
of England and writing its Constitutions, the most influential 
Masonic book ever written. 

As we saw, the other Protestants were eventually given a measure 
of political power. In the very next year, the Catholic Emancipation 
Act granted Roman Catholics the right to sit in Parliament and to 
hold office. Until that date, 1829, they were without political power, 
and in general there was a fairly strong prejudice against them. 

We don't know when the earliest Catholic was initiated into the 
modern Craft. We do know that in 1738 the Pope issued an official 
condemnation of Freemasonry. Not too long ago, a notable 
historian, a Spanish Jesuit priest, had this to say (I translate): "The 
strangest and most paradoxical feature about this papal bull was that 
Clement XII was condemning Masonry ... at the very time when, in 
an England that was anti-papist and anti-catholic, ... Freemasonry 
was one of the few organizations that admitted Catholics — to such 
an extent that in 1729, it was a Catholic, Thomas, Duke of Norfolk, 
who was named Grand Master." {5} Tliis was a full century before 
the Catholic Emancipation Act of 1829. And the Duke's successor, 
installed in 1732, he sixth Viscount Montagu, was also a Catholic. {6} 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 26 



We've looked at Protestants who were not Anglicans, and at 
Catholics, and we've found that rreemasonry was a hundred years 
ahead of the times. When we go beyond these Ixiundaries, there is 
a problem for those who believe in the literal truth of the Bible. 
Jesus said, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every 
creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he 
that believeth not shall be damned" (Mark 16:15-16). lliose who 
interpret this passage literally will find it hard to understand 
Freemasonry, and its way of letting men of different faiths pray 
together, each to the Supreme Heing in whom he believes. 

Of course Jews were excluded from political life by the Test Act 
of 1673, and even after its removal in 1828 they were still subject to 
disability, because of the requirement to make a declaration "on the 
true faith of a Christian." In earlier days in Britain a Jew could not 
be given a peerage. Let us cite one example. Sampson Gideon was 
a Jewish financier who was of tremendous help to the British 
government in financial matters during the wars of 1742-1759. "It 
was his ambition to be made a baronet; but, this being considered 
impossible on account of his religion, a baronetcy was conferred in 
1759 on his son Sampson, then a boy of fifteen under education as 
a Christian at Eton." {7} Not until 1858 was the religious barrier 
was removed. In that year the British House of Commons altered 
the Parliamentary oath, allowing Jewish candidates to omit the 
Christian formula, and as a result Baron Rothschild was able to take 
his seat in the House of Commons. (Actually Canada had been 
ahead of Britain in this. In 1832, in Ix^th the Legislative Assembly 
and the Legislative Council of Lower Canada, a Bill was passed with 
the title "An Act to declare persons professing the Jewish Religion 
entitled to all the rights and privileges of the other subjects of His 
Majesty in this Province.") {8} 

What was the altitude of Freemasonry at the time when Jews 
were deprived of political rights? llie first brethren with Jewish 
names, Nathan Blanch and John Hart, were initiated in the Lodge of 
Antiquity in 1721. Tlie register of members for 1725 includes Israel 
Segalas and Nicholas Abrahams. Daniel Delvalle, who is described 
as "an Eminent Jew snuff merchant," was Master of a lodge in 1732. 
Solomon Mendez was Grand Steward in 1732, and Dr Meyer 
Schomberg in 1734 — all this a century and a quarter before Jews 
were allowed to sit in Parliament. {9} 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 27 



Now let us move from Britain to the other parts of the world to 
which the British flag was carried, those parts inhabited by the 
"fluttered folk and wild — - ... The silent, sullen peoples, ... Half devil 
and half child," as Kipling called them. {10} The natives of these 
regions looked different, and sometimes it was hard to understand 
why they acted the way they did. One could only suspect the worst 
of them. A missionary in India writing in 1841 "summed up the 
Hindu character as 'obsequious, deceitful, licentious, and avaricious,'" 
and said that the people were "destitute of all that is good, and 
distinguished by almost all that is evil." {11} 

A Masonic Lodge was established in India in 1732, but it was 
composed of Englishmen. {12} You do not begin to have the people 
of the area initiated until later. Tlie First Mason from India was a 
Moslem, the Nabob of the Carnatic, Omrat-ul-Omrah, who was 
initiated in 1775. Tliis did not break down the barriers, for nearly 
forty years later, when a Moslem was to be initiated, the Secretary 
of the Lodge, and another member, refused to attend, "saying that 
they were obligated not to be present at the Initiation of a Turk Jew 
or Infidel, and they considered all Mahomedans, Turks." 

A Parsee, Maneckji Cursctji, was initiated in a French Lodge at 
some date before 1843. Tlie first Hindu Masons, Raganatha Sastri 
and Murugcsa Mudaliar, were initiated in 1857. Tlie first Indian to 
become an active Grand Lodge Officer was a Parsee, Dorabjee 
Pestonjee Cama, Grand Treasurer in 1886. In due course. Free- 
masonry in India came to be very receptive of men of other faiths. 
It was the custom to have five volumes of the sacred law available for 
the altar, Gita for the Hindu, Koran for the Moslem, Granth Sahib 
for the Sikh, Zend Avesta for the Parsi, and Holy Bible for the 
Christian. {13} This tolerant attitude is reflected in Kipling's poem, 
"The Mother-Lodge," written in 1896. {14} 

There was Rundle, Station Master, 

An' Beazeley of the Rail, 
An' 'Ackman, Commissariat, 

An' Donkin' o' the Jail; 
An' Blake, Conductor-Sergeant, 

Our Master twice was 'e. 
With 'im that kept the Europe-shop, 

Old Framjee Eduljee.... [Parsee] 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 28 



We'd Bola Nalh, Accountant, [Hindu] 

An' Saul, the Aden Jew, [Jew] 
An' Din Mohammend, draughtsman [Moslem] 

Of the Survey Office, too; 
Tliere was Babu Chuckerbutty, [Hindu] 

An' Amir Singh the Sikh, [Sikh] 
An' Castro from the fittin'-sheds, 

The Roman Catholick!.... [Catholic] 

We turn now to the New World. We know that the Europeans 
who came to America were not very appreciative of the people who 
were already here. We've all heard how General Philip Sheridan in 
1869 said, "The only good Indians I ever saw were dead." {15} A 
history of New England, printed in 1889, said that it was wrong "to 
suppose that savages, whose business is to torture and slay, can 
always be dealt with according to the methods in use between 
civilized peoples." {16} As recently as 1969, an official pamphlet 
recommended by the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization could say 
that most of the Indians "were wandering savages who did nothing 
to develop this great country." {17} 

The first American Indian to join the Craft was Joseph Brant, 
Thayendanegea, the Mohawk war chief (1742/3-1807); he was 
initiated in Lodge No 417, meeting at the Falcon Public House, 
Princes Street, Leicester Fields, London; his Masonic certificate is 
dated 26 April 1776. But there were others as well, who came later: 
the Oneida John Konkipot, who was also involved in the Revolution, 
but on the wrong side; the Cherokee chief John Ross, who was 
associated with the long march from Tennessee to what is now 
Oklahoma; the Seneca General Ely S. Parker, after whom a lodge 
in Buffalo is named; and the Apache physician Dr Carlos 
Montezuma. About 1797, in Canada, a lodge. No 11, was founded 
in the Mohawk Village, now Brantford, with Joseph Brant as Master. 
Its members were Mohawks. {18} 

I move on to a problem that is becoming increasingly vexing for 
Freemasonry, particularly in the United States. Obviously in a 
household, or on a farm, or on a ship, or in a business, there is too 
much for one person to do. It is essential to have somelx)dy else to 
do some of the work. You can hire him, but that takes money. You 
can marry her, and persuade her that all her labour is for the good 
of the family. But the cheapest way is to own him. Slavery perhaps 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 29 



began as a merciful convention. Instead of putting a thief or a 
prisoner-of-war to death, you would spare his life, but make him your 
property. Black slavery seems to have started with the use of 
prisoners-of-war, but it developed into a large-scale nasty business. 
If you are going to look upon a whole section of humanity as fit only 
for slaves, you will have to rationalize your treatment. Perhaps you 
will regard them as hardly human, but more in the nature of animals. 
In the Biblical story of creation, God told the first man and woman 
to "have dominion ... over all the earth.... Replenish the earth, and 
subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the 
fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the 
earth" (Genesis 1:26, 28). One often has the impression that the 
Europeans of the sixteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth centuries 
believed this injunction to be directed to them, and to them alone. 

Even in the nineteenth century, Europeans thought "of the black 
man as descended from Ham, the black son of Noah," {19} and 
according to Genesis 9:25, God condemned his descendants to serve 
the rest of mankind. In 1885, Gilbert and Sullivan in "Tlie Mikado," 
could say, 

There's the nigger serenader, and the others of his race, 
And the piano organist - I've got him on the list!... 
They never would be missed - they never would be missed! 
{20} 

In 1906 Theodore Roosevelt wrote, "Negroes ... as a race and 
in the mass ... are altogether inferior to the whites." {21} And the 
great humanitarian, Dr Albert Schweitzer, said, "My general rule is 
never to trust a black." {22} 

One can trace a gradual liberalb.ation on the legislative level. 
The second session of the Legislature of Upper Canada, on 9 July 
1793, passed a law forbidding the importation of any slaves into the 
colony. Slavery was abolished in the British Empire in 1833. And 
of course our freedom-loving neighbours to the south issued the 
Emancipation proclamation in 1865. 

On 6 March 1778 a black man, probably a former slave, named 
Prince Hall, was made a Mason, by a con-artist; within the next 
three years a number of other blacks were allegedly made Masons, 
no doubt fraudulently, and they formed a lodge which they called 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 30 



African Lodge No 1. In 1784, Prince Ilall wrote a Idler to England, 
explaining the situation as he understood it, and petitioning, "as Poor 
yet Sincere Brethren of the Craft," for a Warrant of Constitution. 
Tlie Grand Lodge of England did in fact issue a warrant, on 29 
September 1784, to African Lodge No 459. By any standard you 
wish to invoke, this granting of a charter by the mother grand lodge 
made the lodge regular, and ensured that its members were legiti- 
mate Masons. African lodge continued to meet, and to make 
Masons, and to confer degrees upon them. It certainly submitted 
returns to the Grand Lodge of England, sent contributions to the 
charity fund, and received replies, as late as 1797. We know that 
there were other lodges in the vicinity holding their warrants from 
the Grand Lodge of England, and in due course they formed an 
independent Grand Lodge. Tliere is no record that they were in 
contact with this perfectly regular lodge that held a warrant every bit 
as valid as theirs. Tlie reason for this neglect is given to us by a 
notable Mason of this very same period. In 1795 John Eliot, later to 
become Grand Chaplain of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, 
wrote as follows: "white masons, [who are] not [any] more skilled in 
geometry than their black brethren, will not acknowledge them.... 
The truth is they are ashamed of being on an equality with blacks." 
That is, the blacks were excluded simply on grounds of racial 
prejudice. 

There is a sequel to the story. In 1813 African Lodge was 
struck off the rolls of the Grand Lodge of England, because (it 
seems) the members had not for several years been able to contrib- 
ute to the Grand Lodge Charity Fund - a situation that, perhaps, we 
can all understand. It then ceased to exist as a duly constituted 
body. It kept on working on its own, and started other lodges of 
black men in Philadelphia, in Providence, Rhode Island, and in New 
York City. These lodges in turn formed other lodges, and in due 
process of time grand lodges. Today there are 44 Grand Lodges that 
trace their origin back to African Lodge No 459. They are known as 
Masons of Prince Hall Affiliation. In all, there are 5000 Prince Hall 
lodges in the world, and 300,000 members. There is a Grand Lodge 
of the Province of Ontario. {23} The members do much the same 
sort of thing that we do. They have always been regarded as 
irregular or clandestine, but within the past year several American 
jurisdictions have recognized them. Sometimes individual Masons 
have not shown themselves to be particularly tolerant. The great 
Albert Pike, the virtual founder of the Scottish Rite, on one occasion 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 31 



penned the following words, "I took my obligations to white men, not 
Negroes. When I have to accept Negroes as Brethren or leave 
Masonry, I shall leave it." {24} 

Next, we move to the Far East. European travellers there found 
it very hard to get used to the people. Not only did they look ahen, 
but they belonged to empires that claimed to be far older than the 
European ones. A Spanish officer wrote to his superior that "China 
was Satan's own country, and every man in it had a devil inside him." 
{25} Tliat great egahtarian Karl Marx spoke with scorn of China's 
"hereditary stupidity." {26} And in 1870, in the tolerant Unhed 
States, Bret Harte could say, in his "Ballad of Truthful James," 

Which I wish to remark — 

And my language is plain — 
That for ways that are dark 

And for ways that are vain. 
The heathen Chinee is pecuhar.... {27} 

A Masonic lodge was established in China in 1767, but once 
again it was composed of Englishmen. {28} The government of 
China prevented its own citizens from joining secret societies. This 
ban began to break down in the middle of the nineteenth century, 
and in 1857 Tlie Boen Kch became the first Chinese Mason. Tlieir 
numbers increased greatly in the 1880s. {29} 

The government of Japan likewise forbade its people to join 
secret societies until after the Second World War; and the first 
Japanese were initiated into Masonry there in 1950. But long before 
this, in 1864, Amane Nishi, a Japanese who was studying at Leyden 
in the Netherlands, was made a Mason there. {30} 

We have not talked very much about Ontario. We did mention 
that there was a lodge of North American Indians here from 1797. 
Bro. Isaac Moses was initiated on 3 December 1798, in Zion Lodge, 
No 10, Detroit, Upper Canada; he was the first Jewish brother in 
our jurisdiction. {31} We now have several lodges that are mostly 
Jewish in their membership, the oldest being Mount Sinai, No 522 
(1914). When Archbishop W. L. Wright was Grand Master in 
1955-57, "he took the first steps to ensure that the Volume on the 
altar need not invariably be the Christian scriptures, but that it might 
instead be the Book that the particular candidate recognized as the 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 32 



standard of his faith." {32} Wc have had a Grand Master of the 
Jewish faith. We have had District Deputy Grand Masters who were 
black, and who traced their ancestry back to the sub-continent of 
India. We have a number of brethren of Chinese and Japanese 
background. So at least we have made a start. 

What I have tried to do is to remind you of how Freemasonry 
was ahead of society in recognizing non-Anglicans, non-Fnglish-spea- 
king people, and non-whites, as full and equal brethren. Not all 
people are aware of this. About 28 September 1990 on radio station 
CFRB a commentator namned Wayne McLean stated that it is well 
known that Masons are racist, by which he meant anti-Black. (I did 
not hear him, but my sources are reliable.) This is a slander, and a 
slur. But, on the other side, there have been non-Masons who 
recognize what Masonry has done. For example, Michael Baigent 
and Richard Leigh, in their recent (and generally very bad) book 
called The Temple and the Lodge have a good section on Masonic 
toleration: "Insisting on a universal brotherhood which transcended 
national frontiers, Enghsh Freemasonry was to exert a profound 
influence on the great reformers of the eighteenth century.... 
Strictures against religious and political prejudice served to encour- 
age not just tolerance, but also the kind of egalitarian spirit that so 
impressed visitors from abroad." {33} 

The Rev. James Anderson, in his summary of The Charges of 
a Free-Mason (1723) said that, by its non-sectarian nature, "Masonry 
becomes the Center of Union, and the Means of conciUating true 
Friendship among Persons that must have remain'd at a perpetual 
distance." Masonry accepted dissenters, and Roman Catholics, and 
Jews, at a time when their political rights were strictly curtailed. It 
admitted American Indians, and black men, and men from India, and 
the Far East, at a time when they were still spoken of disparagingly. 
In all these instances, people who were from different backgrounds 
were able to meet together as equals on the level. The prophet 
Malachi says, "Have we not all one father? hath not one God created 
us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother ...?" 
(2:10). This, according to my friend and Masonic brother, Dr 
George H. T. French of Texas, is one of the sources of the Masonic 
concept of the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. 
{34} And let us never forget how essential the doctrine is to Free- 
masonry. In this jurisdiction the Brotherhood of man under the 
Fatherhood of God has been a landmark since 1976, when the Grand 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 33 



Master, M.W.Bro. Eric W. Nancckivell specified it as such in his 
address. {35} We look out at the world, and we see all the stress 
and tension, all the hostility and rivalry, between country and 
country, between race and race. I low can we solve these problems? 
What can we do? 

.... Masonry makes answer 

With its never-changing plan — 
Tlie Fatherhood of God, 

Tlie Brotherhood of Man! {36} 

So it has been. So may it continue. 



NOTES 

1. W.J. Alexander, editor. Short Stories and Essays (Toronto, 
1931), 50-54. Tlie writer expresses his gratitude to John McLeod 
for most of the citations of sources connected with British and 
Imperial history. 

2. Blanche Knott, editor. Truly Tasteless Jokes, a series of at 
least eight paperback books (New York, 1982-1988); Larry 
Wilde, editor. The Complete Book of Ethnic Humor (New York, 
1978). 

3. From an interview by Alan Twigg, Strong Voices: Conversa- 
tions with Fifty Canadian Authors (1988), quoted by John Robert 
Colombo, Toronto Star (17 June 1990) Cll. 

4. G.F. Russell Barker, in Sidney Lee, editor. Dictionary of 
National Biography, Vol. 55 (London, 1898) 94; William Hutch- 
eon, editor, Whigs and Wiggism (New York, 1914) 88-89. 

5. Jose A. Ferrer Benimeli, "Franc-Maconnerie et eglise 
catholique: Motivations politiques des premieres condemnations 
papales," Dix-huUUme sUcle 19 (1987) 7-19, on page 10. 

6. Will Read, "Let a Man's Religion ... Be what it may ..." AQC 
Vol. 98 (1985) 69-89. 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 34 



7. W.TI. Frcmantlc, in Leslie Stephen, editor, Dictionary of 
National Biography , Vol. 21 (London, 1890) 290. 



8. Benjamin G. Sack, History of Jews in Canada (Montreal, 
1945) 96-107, cited by Richard Menkis in a forthcoming 
collection of essays on Anti-semitism in Canada edited by Alan 
T. Davies. 

9. John M. Shaftesley, "Jews in Lnglish Freemasonry in the 
18th and 19th Centuries," /^gC Vol. 92 (1979) 42. 

10. Rudyard Kipling, "Tlie White Man's Burden' (1899). 

11. J. Smith, The Missionary *s Appeal to British Christians on 
behalf of Southern India (1841), cited by V.G. Kicrnan, The 
Lords of Human Kind (Boston, 1969) 64. 

12. A lodge, No. 72, was established by the English in Bengal 
in 1732; Robert Ingham Clcgg, editor, Mackey\s History of 
Freemasonry (Chicago, 1921), 7.2272. 

13. On Freemasonry in India, see G.E. Walker, "250 Years of 
Masonry in India: A Study in Resolved Discords," AQC Vol. 92 
(1979), 176, 177, 178, 182; Frederick Smyth, /igC Vol. 92 (1979) 
187; Dr. Khambatta, "Tlie District Grand Lodge of the Punjab," 
to appear in AQC for 1990. 

14. Rudyard Kipling, "Tlie Mother-Lodge" (1896); Harry Carr's 
World of Freemasonry (London, 1983) 271. 

15. Quoted in Paul Jacobs and Saul Landau, with Eve Pell, To 
Serve the Devil (New York, 1971) 1.9. 

16. John Fiske, The Beginnings of New England (Boston, 1889) 
184, quoted by Jacobs-Landau-Pell, To Serve the Devil 1,28. 

17. Pamphlet, 1969, recommended by the U.S. Immigration and 
Naturalization Service, as appropriate to be given to all those 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 35 



filing applications to become U.S. citizens in California; quoted 
in Jacobs-Landau-Pell, To Serve the Devil 1.3. 

18. William W. Mitchel, "Worshipful Brother Joseph Brant 
(Tliayendanegea)," Proceedings of The Heritage Lodge No. 730 
Vol. 10 (1986-87) 76-94; Wallace McLeod, Canadian Historical 
Review 69.1 (March 1988) 54; J. Ross Robertson, The History of 
Freemasonry in Canada from its Introduction in 1749 (Toronto, 
1900) 1.679-693; Dwight D. Seals, "Native American Freema- 
sons," The Philalethes 43.4 (August 1990) 4-7,20. 

19. V.G. Kiernan, The Lords of Human Kind (Boston, 1969) 204. 

20. Plays and Poems of W.S. Gilbert (New York, 1932); now 
usually bowdlerized as "the banjo serenader." 

21. Thomas F. Gossett, Race: The History of an Idea in America 
(New York, 1963) 268. 

22. Quoted in Davidson Nicol, Africa - A Subjective View (Accra, 
1964) 18, cited by Robert Gardiner, A World of Peoples (New 
York, 1966) 42. 

23. J. Lawrence Runnals, "Tlie Coloured Man in Freemasonry", 
PCMRA Vol. 77 (1964), reprinted in C.E.B. LeGresley, editor, 
PCMRA PAPERS 1949-1976 ([Cambridge, Ontario,] 1986) Vol. 
2, 1329-1343; H.W. Coil, in John M. Sherman, AQC Vol. 90 
(1977) 309; Wallace McLeod, "A Problem for the 90's: Prince 
Hall Freemasonry and the Question of Regularity," Vision 20/00: 
Bridging the Negatives; Proceedings of the Semi-Annual Meeting of 
the Philalethes Society (Toronto, 1989) 1-8; reprinted in The 
Phylaxis 25.4 (1989) 7-8, 13-14; and, in abbreviated form, in The 
Virginia Masonic Herald (January 1990) 7. 

24. William H. Upton, Light on a Dark Subject (Boston, 1902) 
214-215, quoted in Joseph A. Walkes, Jr., A Prince Hall Masonic 
Quiz Book (2nd edition, Richmond, Virginia, 1989) 85. 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 36 



25. Quoted, Aiitonio dc Morga, The Philippine Islands, trans- 
lated by Hon. lI.E.J. Stanley (Ilakluyt Society, 1868), 122, in 
Kiernan, Lords of Human Kind 149. 

26. Dona Torr, editor, Marx on China, 1853-1860, 1951, 3, in 
Kiernan, Lords of Human Kind 149. 

27. The Book of Knowledge (Toronto, 1926) 4.1381; on the date, 
see Book of Knowledge 13.4814,4818. 

28. Lodge of Amity, No. 407, was Instituted in Canton, China, 
in 1767; Clegg, Mackey's History of Freemasonry 7.2289. 

29. On early Freemasonry in China, see Tom Fripp AQC Vol. 
92 (1979) 211; Christopher Ilaffner, The Craft in the East (Ilong 
Kong, 1977, revised 1988) 39, 71, 90, 72, 70f., 432; see now also 
Haffner, "Tlie First American Lodge in China," The PhilaJethes 
43.2 (April, 1990) 12-13, 18: and the same author's Inaugural 
Address, "Eastern Masonic Frontiers Before the Union," to 
appear in AQC for 1991. 

30. Haffner, Craft in the East 304; C.A. Sankey, Proceedings of 
the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario 126 (1981) 
33A, quoted by W. McLeod in AQC 94 (1981) 234. 

31. Robertson, History of Freemasonry in Canada, 1.208, 240. 

32. Wallace McLeod, The Bulletin (April 1990), 6. 

33. Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, The Temple and the 
Lodge (London, 1989) 181. 

34. George H.T. French, "Tlie Brotherhood of Man under the 
Fatherhood of God," Masonology: An Anthology (Austin, 1988), 
67-77. 

35. Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of 
Ontario 121 (1976) 56. 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 37 



36. After Lawrence N. Greenleaf, "Hands across the Sea," in 
Carl Glick, editor, A Treasury of Masonic Thought (London, 
1959) 127-128. 



UNIVERSALITY OF FREEMASONRY Page No. 38 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF 

by 
R.W. Bro. Wayne E. Elgie 



INTRODUCTION 

Last July at Grand Lodge, the Chairman of the Masonic 
Information for Heritage Lodge #730 A.F. and A.M. G.R.C. very 
diplomatically asked if I would consider presenting a paper at a 
Heritage Meeting. Had he not suggested the topic, I would have 
refused on the basis of lack of time. However, the topic does have a 
direct connection with a significant Masonic event that will be 
happening in our jurisdiction in late September in the City of 
Burlington. 

To be able to share with masons, especially those in Heritage 
about one small, yet significant facet of our masonic heritage which 
appears somewhat unique to North American Freemasonry, and 
make it understandable, educational and enjoyable is the challenge 
I accepted from R.W. Bro. Edwin Drew and which I have the 
pleasure in sharing with you this evening here in the Oshawa 
Masonic Temple, at the 58th meeting at Heritage Lodge. To share 
with you the evolution of a truly unique North American phenome- 
non, which was adapted by our Grand Lodge to serve a very 
worthwhile purpose that no longer exists and without some environ- 
mental /social modifications, is or will be following the story of the 
dinosaur. 



♦ Paper presented at the fifty-eighth Regular Meeting of The 
Heritage Lodge held on Wednesday, March 20th, 1991, in the 
Oshawa Masonic Hall, 91 Center Street S., Oshawa, Ontario, Bro. 
Elgie is a member of The Heritage Lodge. 

MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 39 



BACKGROUND 

The vast dimensions of the form of a lodge from East to West 
and from North to South signify expHcitly the universahty of 
Freemasonry. The range of the masonic fraternity is universal the 
rights and privileges of the Order are universal, and the fundamental 
principles are also universal. From an address by our first Grand 
Master, M. W. Bro. William Mercer Wilson, in Ottawa on July 11, 
1860 we are reminded of the second principle RELIEF, as in the 
ritual of Installation "....it carries rehef and gladness to the habita- 
tions of want and destitution."l. All over the world Freemasons have 
been providing assistance to those less fortunate than themselves, a 
practice characteristic of the operative stone masons of the Middle 
Ages who were builders of cathedrals, abbeys and castles. Their 
regulations provided for a fellow mason by giving him a day's work 
or assistance to travel to the next project of a neighbouring lodge. 

From the report of Grand Historian R. W. Bro. Wallace 
McLeod to Grand Lodge 1990, we read that in Scotland in 1670 
the lodge at Aberdeen pledged itself to make contributions to the 
Mason Box, for the support of distressed brethren and the education 
of children. In England in 1686, a local historian in Wiltshire stated 
that whenever a Freemason falls into difficulty, the "brotherhood is 
to relieve him ". In Ireland in 1688 we have a report from Dublin 
that the members of the Fraternity of Freemasons had recently 
presented a "well stuffed" purse of charity to a destitute brother. In 
1772 the Premier Grand Lodge in London decided that every lodge 
should take up a monthly collection for a general charity fund to 
assist poor brethren."2. 

From the first Constitutions of Freemasons compiled by James 
Anderson and published in London in 1723, sub-section six relates 
to the behavior towards a strange Brother - " You are to cautiously 
examine him, in such a method as prudence shall direct you, that you 
may not be imposed upon by an ignorant false pretender, whom you 
are to reject with contempt and derision and beware of giving him 
any hints of knowledge. But if you discover him to be a true and 
genuine Brother, you are to respect him accordingly; and if he is in 
want, you must relieve him if you can, or else direct him how he may 
be relieved. You must employ him some days, or else recommend 
him to be employed. But you are not charged to do beyond your 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 40 



ability, only to prefer a poor Brother, that is a good man and true, 
before any other poor people in same circumstances." 

In the 1784 revised edition of Anderson's Constitutions, Laws 
relating to the General Fund of Charity clearly delineated the mode 
of petitioning, along with a form to be used by the petitioners. 
These were felt to be expedient in preventing improper persons from 
applying, and to ensure those who were deserving, from being 
disappointed of rehef through any informality of application. 

In Massachusetts in 1733, the by-laws of the first lodge in 
Boston specified that each member was to pay at least two shillings 
per quarter for the relief of brethren who had fallen on evil times. 
In 1781, in Nova Scotia, the Masters of three Halifax lodges were 
directed to act as a Charity Committee, to assist masons who had 
escaped from the American Revolution. In 1797, the Upper Canada 
Gazette told of a lodge, in Newark that had set up a fund to help 
Freemasons' widows and to educate orphans and children of indigent 
brethren. Throughout the Masonic world the pictures and practices 
are constant and universal. It has been said that the practice of 
relief among men has put civilization into the hearts of man, allowing 
him to survive through the ages. Such were the customs and 
expectations that migrant craft masons brought with them to the new 
world. 

By the time of the American Revolution, over 41 lodges had 
been chartered from the Amazon to the St. Lawerence. Some were 
permanent such as in Boston and New York, while military lodges 
were given travelling warrants as early as 1732 by the Grand Lodge 
of Ireland. The introduction of Freemasonry to Canada is 
accredited to Erasmus James Philipps, initiated in Boston in 1737 
and who as P.G.M. of Acadia was associated with the founding of a 
lodge at Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia in June 1738. Seven military 
lodges, each carrying a warrant issued by one of the three Grand 
Lodges, from England, Ireland and Boston helped spread Craft 
masonry from Quebec City to Michilimackinac. The establishment 
of lodges closely parallels the early growth and development of 
Canada's pioneer settlers who took full advantage of the lakes and 
rivers in selecting sites with easy access to communication routes to 
establish their homes and industries. Shortly thereafter, when their 
numbers were able to support a lodge, a masonic lodge was held and 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 41 



eventually given permanent status in the town. Systems of trails grew 
to roads, water travel improved and later rail lines threaded across 
the province, providing connecting links between remote communi- 
ties. At the confluence of such, villages and towns sprung up 
connected to larger seaport towns. In many the little blue lodge 
followed the building of the red brick church and the white painted 
school. Tliis was the pattern of development across North America. 

As America grew, and travel increased, and the number of 
masons increased, more masonic families required the assistance of 
others in their struggle for frontier survival as pioneers. As often as 
needed, masons would interrupt their own work to lend a hand to a 
member in need or his family. If a member died, his family would 
be taken care of by the lodge and neighbours. Frontier settlers were 
more often than not many miles away from their home town, the 
base of their departure, and likewise many a mason was numerous 
miles from his Mother Lodge. Tlius if need be, he would turn to the 
nearest lodges for support, succor and aid. 

By the 1850's there were thousands of brethren scattered across 
the habitable parts of North America engaged in almost every pursuit 
known to man at that time. (1885 est. 500,000) Calls for masonic 
help and assistance were becoming more frequent and the demands 
for charity required larger appropriations of time and money. 
Possibly the open-handedness of masonry had a tendency to make 
these demands larger and more frequent than they otherwise would 
be. Such circumstances presented a golden opportunity for "impos- 
tors, tramps or dead-beats" to ply their nefarious vocation of living 
upon others by concealing their true character. Former members, 
and those who observed the sincerity of masons helping each other 
conceived and put into practice the fraudulent seeking of funds and 
help. 

While one must learn to take the sweet with the bitter as one 
journies through life, so also in masonry and in masonic charity. 
Often we have felt the pleasure and satisfaction of assisting those 
worthy. At other times we have found ourselves confronted by a 
variety of impostors or dead-beats, some who were admitted to 
Freemasonry through careless investigating committees, some whose 
character seemed good at the beginning but whose unworthiness, 
degradation, fraud or non-compliance caused the lodge to expel 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 42 



them, and others who never were masons but who picked up some 
masonic phrases or memorabiha and aUhough they could not prove 
themselves, applied at lodge room doors to the great heart of 
Masonry. 

There were many different species of impostors then, not 
forgetting that they still exist today, but with more sophisticated 
means. Picture if you will: 

TTie brazen , who had been a mason for so many years, had served 
the Craft right royally, and who demanded from the lodge 
immediate and substantial aid right now. 

The meek and lowly , who cared for money only so far as it would 
buy him bread, and if not forthcoming, he would still pray 
for the brethren just the same. He was so full of the milk 
of human kindness and so overflowing of Christian charity 
himself, who could refuse this kind and gentle brother? 
Something must be given to him. With imaginary tears in 
his eyes, he thanked the brethren profusely, showering his 
pious blessings upon the lodge, departing with lodge funds 
in search of new turf and others who could be so easily 
imposed upon. 

Tlie homesick beggar , was one wanting to go to his dear home. If 
only once more he could behold the old church steeple in 
the sweet httle village nestled beneath the mountain by the 
cascading waterfall. He would never, no never again leave 
from there to go forth in this cold heartless world, (to prey 
upon unsuspecting brethren) He would be well received 
and he could make shift, but how was he to get there? 
Tlie fare was eight dollars and he had only four, but if the 
good brethren would contribute the balance, he would take 
the first train to his dearly beloved birthtown. 

The wild one , was desperate, had not tasted food for two days and 
looked and acted wild. His eyes glared right through you 
like those of a ferocious animal. He claimed that this was 
positively his last appeal. Tliis was the last time that he 
would ask the brethren for anything. If they refused, his 
fate be upon them all. He could no longer stand this 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 43 



misery and torture so was going straight from the lodge to 
the nearest river, there to end his miserable existence 
forever. 

TTie dying impostor , who ascended the stairs very slowly and was 
entirely out of breath when he reached the lodge room. He 
talked very slowly, his voice scarcely above a whisper. He 
frequently interrupted himself to take a breath. He 
suffered from asthma and was nearly used up with con- 
sumption (T.B.). He had a touch of Bright's disease 
besides a number of fatal diseases, the cure of which would 
require at least a dozen of the most approved advertised 
patent medicines available. He was attempting to collect a 
small sum of money sufficient to pay his funeral expenses, 
that was all. His days were numbered. He would not 
trouble the brethren much longer as he expected to be 
dead tomorrow or the next day. In fact the brethren were 
so fearful that he would die on their hands if they did not 
hurry and give him some cash so that he may get outside 
for some fresh air. Tliis type was the most numerous and 
they had practiced so much that they became experts in 
dying, but never did. 

The careless and homeless , was one entirely destitute, not a penny 
in his pocket, not a place to lay his head. No where to go, 
no money to buy a loaf of bread, who only wanted a 
quarter or even ten cents. If you offered to accompany 
him to a restaurant and to pay for a square meal he 
became most indignant and would ask "What do you take 
me for "? When he learned that there would be no money 
to be had, he would speedily depart, heaping curses and 
claims of masonic fraud on a well meaning brother. 

These were but some of the types of unworthy men, with "heads 
to contrive and tongues to pursuade who wandered up and down the 
continent with matchless tales of misfortune and distress which when 
told by their bearers would chill the heart and loosen the purse 
string".3. It was a well established fact that a large proportion of 
what had been given as masonic charity was going into the hands of 
those not entitled to receive it. It was even worse than had it been 
thrown away, for it kept upon the roads and rails vast hordes who 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 44 



lived upon this bounty, while needy brethren or their widows and 
orphans were left to suffer for want of the necessities of life. Besides 
depriving worthy masons and their families, these scoundrels were 
seldom punished for their crime, "llie highwayman who robs is 
arrested and sent to prison, there to expiate his crime in penal 
servitude in a convicts garb. The fraud who robs a mason or lodge 
is no less a criminal, and should be made to suffer in a like man- 
ner".4. 

This condition of affairs made it the imperative duty of masons 
and masonic lodges to protect themselves so far as possible against 
unworthy applicants for masonic charity. In small towns, and villages 
when there was but one lodge, the usual custom was for the 
Worshipful Master and the Wardens to be a Committee on Charity, 
with the authority to draw from the funds of the lodge. Because of 
the lack of proper skills and facilities for detecting impostors, frauds 
were not uncommon. In larger centres where more than one lodge 
was situated, some lodges received greater requests on their funds 
than others for a variety of reasons, from personnel to the nights 
they met, to their location in the city. In such cases Masonic Boards 
of Relief were established to which all applicants for assistance were 
sent. These Boards were generally composed of prominent brethren, 
each representing one of the several town or city lodges. Tliese 
experienced brethren employed every means possible to dispense 
charity in a systematic manner, with one brother of unusual skill 
empowered to investigate all applications for relief. Usually the 
applicant was temporarily provided for until the investigator was 
satisfied whether help should be extended or not. Tlie General 
Relief Fund to which they had access was created by a small per 
capita assessment on the membership of each subscribing lodge, 
quarterly or semi-annually. In this way the Fund was pro-rated 
among all lodges, each bearing its proportionate share. Tliis plan for 
helping a worthy, brother and detecting the unworthy, as well as 
distributing the cost load equitably among the lodges was the best 
devised to help the sojourning mason with his problems . Such 
models were adopted very rapidly across America, some assuming 
additional responsibilities for delivering assistance and help to needy 
brethren and their dependants. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 45 



THE CANADIAN SCENE 

To appreciate the role of Boards of Relief, this writer has 
chosen to follow the development of the "Benevolence Growth 
Strand" through our Grand Lodge. At each of the early Communi- 
cations of the Grand Lodge of Canada, Grand Master Wilson spoke 
in his addresses about the charitable characteristics of masonry and 
masons. In 1860, at Ottawa he spoke ..."one of the proudest duties 
of Masons both in their individual and collective relations is to 
embody and give practical value to the noblest principle upon which 
Masonry is founded.".We can give Canadian masonry a local 
habitation and a name and teach the outside world to regard 
masonry and benevolence as interchangeable and synonymous terms 
"5. At the 1861 communication in London Ontario, Grand Master 
Herrington proposed the formation of a Board or Committee of 
Benevolence to whom all applications for relief should be referred. 
The Special Committee to whom was referred the consideration of 
matters contained in the address of the Grand Master, recommended 
that a Board or Committee of Benevolence somewhat similar to that 
existing in England should be established in Canada, having the 
power to grant relief to distressed masons on the application from a 
private lodge. Tlius the foundation was laid for the Committee of 
Benevolence for the Grand Lodge of Canada. A notice of motion to 
assist in developing a Fund of Benevolence - in that every brother on 
his first appointment to any of the following offices should pay 
towards the Fund of Benevolence the sum of: 

Grand Master: $50 Deputy Grand Master: $30 

Grand Treasurer: $10 D.D.G.M.: $20 

Grand Secretary: $10 Grand Wardens: $15 

Grand Deacons : $ 5 Grand Chaplain: $10 

Grand Registar: $10 All other Grand 

Lodge Officers: $ 5 

never came to fruition. 

In 1865, under the Chairmanship of R.W.Bro Otto Klotz, the 
Benevolence Report noted the disbursement of 10 grants for rehef 
totalHng $262 to be paid through the Worshipful Master of the 
petitioning lodge, or a Brother from that community who was known 
to the Committee. As practised today, it was then recommended 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 46 



that in the future, all applications for relief should be accompanied 
with a statement of what had been done by the lodge(s) in aid of 
such applicants. Tlie 1864 resolution, that annually, 10 percent of the 
total receipts of Grand Lodge be transferred to the Benevolent 
Investment Fund, ensured its growth, with $663 being deposited in 
1866. Semi-annual grants for applications from individual lodges 
were paid through the Worshipful Master, the District Deputy Grand 
Master, the Deputy Grand Master or a Board of General Purposes 
member.6. 

The 1867 abstract statement of R.W. Bro James Seymour, 
D.D.G.M. for the Hamilton District notes 22 lodges privately 
reheved 21 cases of charity for an amount of $287. His report also 
makes known that 10 percent of all receipts by the four Hamilton 
lodges, Barton #6, Strict Observance #27, St. John's #40, and 
Acacia #61 were specially appropriated to the Benevolent Fund 
managed jointly by their lodges. 

From the 1867 report of the D.D.G.M. of the Eastern Town- 
ships we are told of a very commendable course of action by the 
brethren in creating a fund for the purpose of benevolence and they 
were making their appropriations therefore through a Committee 
appointed to consider and act upon all applications for relief, "such 
as now exists in and works well in some of the cities".7. 



BOARDS OF RELIEF 

The first reference to the operation of a Canadian Masonic 
Board of Rehef appears in the 1868 Proceedings in the report of the 
acting D.D.G.M. for the Montreal District, although some may have 
been operating under a different name, yet with the same purposes. 
"The local Board of Relief, composed of representatives from all the 
lodges in the City of Montreal has been in active operation during 
the past masonic year and fully meets in every aspect the duties 
required of it. It is gratifying to find brethren hailing from different 
jurisdictions so cordially co-operating with us in the great work of 
dispensing charity to the needy and distressed brethren. A sum of 
$400 has been paid out by the Board during the year, which is 
altogether exclusive of what lodges may have done during the same 
period in reheving those of their own membership who may have had 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 47 



claims upon them". 8 The following year he again spoke glowingly 
of the work of the Montreal Board of Relief, which had expended 
nearly $400 to transient brethren and to widows and children of 
masons. He also urged Grand Lodge to assume "greater liberality" 
in dealing with cases of distress brought before it, noting that when 
an application is made to Grand Lodge it is for the purpose of 
securing more substantial and permanent rehef than would be 
expected from any local Board. Thus we have established the 
beginning of how and why Boards of Rehef made application to 
Grand Lodge. In 1870 the first grants from Grand Lodge to be used 
by Boards of Rehef, mainly for transient relief, were made to the 
Montreal Board of Relief $100, the Toronto Benevolent Committee 
$100 and the Hamilton Relief Committe $50. The 1871 District 
Report praises the management of the Montreal Board , with 
funding from several city lodges and semiannual grants from Grand 
Lodge. The funds were used almost entirely for the relief of 
non-resident masons and those newly arrived from "foreign parts". 9. 

From time to time in the monthly publication of the Canadian 
Craftsman, Boards of Relief were warning the fraternity of impos- 
tors, tramps and swindlers, such as that by the Masonic Board of 
Relief of Toledo Ohio in April 1870. It not only listed the name 
under which the swindler was passing, but also issued a card with his 
personal description and a photograph Claiming membership in 
Pierce Lodge #144 Calvert, Texas, this five foot, nine inch, Prussian 
by birth, by his own confession had been swindling the Craft 
wherever he travelled since arriving on this side of the Atlantic, early 
in 1868. 

Sometimes Grand Masters were able to create Boards of Relief 
to assist in meeting the special needs of Masons at the time of 
catastrophe or disaster. Such was the case when the Great Fire befell 
the City of Chicago in October, 1871 and our Grand Master Seymour 
telegraphed $2000 to the Grand Master of Illinois for the immediate 
rehef of the Chicago brethren. His reply -"To meet the wants of the 
hour and to provide for permanent relief to the sufferers of our late 
conflagration, by virtue of my office, I have appointed and consti- 
tuted a Masonic Board of Relief and I draw on your Grand Treas- 
urer $2000 in gold. May God Bless you and yours and enable us to 
repay by lasting gratitude, if not kind and coin your generous bounty" 
10. Toronto District raised and forwarded $700 on the second day of 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 48 



that Great Fire (October 9, 1871). Interestingly that Board of Relief, 
organized for the distribution of funds, adjourned 'sine die' on June 
24, 1872, and $994 which was the share pro-rata of unexpended funds 
contributed by Canadian masons, returned. Grand Master Wilson in 
his reply expressed his feelings that the action of returning funds not 
required for the purposes they were contributed would ever after- 
wards be cited as a noble precedent for future guidance in all similar 
cases. The Board of General Purposes apportioned the funds among 
the contributors as follows: 

Grand Lodge Benevolent Fund $485.63 

Toronto Lodges 169.64 

Wellington District 182.73 

Wilson District 34.84 



$872.84 

The 136 Benevolent Grants issued by Grand Lodge in 1872 
included grants to the following Boards of Relief: 

Montreal $200 Kingston $175 

Toronto 300 London 75 

Hamilton 200 Lodges in Winnipeg 50 

Ottawa 150 

The 1873 condensed financial statements were the first to show 
the income and expednitures of several Boards of Relief receiving 
funds, from Grand Lodge. For example the Toronto Masonic Board 
of Rehef showed 155 applicants receiving $1422.25 and the source of 
funding being Grand Lodge and eight City lodges. Henceforth, by 
resolution, if a Board failed to submit a statement of income and 
expenses, support from Grand Lodge would be defaulted. The 
Board of General Purposes made it most clear that parties soliciting 
aid from the Benevolent Committee should be made through a 
lodge. The Board of General Purposes also recommended that 
wherever there was more than one lodge in a city or town, that such 
lodges form among themselves a local Board of Relief. Boards of 
ReHef had received Grand Lodge's approbation, but their operations 
were subject to review, and publication in the Proceedings. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 49 



Tlie best rationale given for the operation of a Board of Relief 
was defined by the Committee on Charity in the fraternal review of 
South Carolina, 1873. A Masonic Board of Relief had been organ- 
ized in Charleston supplying a want long felt in that area where 
some 14 lodges, each separate and distinct had its own Committee 
or Charity. Experience showed that many applicants for relief, being 
masons from abroad and widows not connected with Charleston 
lodges would apply to various city lodges and frequently receive an 
undue share of masonic charity by reason of the lodge acting 
independently and without concert or information as to each other's 
actions. Unable to apply to 14 different Committees on Charity, 
worthy brethren from abroad failed to receive a proper amount of 
assistance. Having no central body with which to correspond , or 
other Boards of Relief or kindred masonic bodies to contact for 
information, lodges were subject to impostors, cheats and cowans. 
The Masonic Board of Relief was therefore organized to supply this 
want. It consisted of three representatives from each contributing 
lodge as well as representatives from the Grand Lodge Committee 
on Charity. The Board of Relief did not interfere with the charities 
of lodges to their members. It simply relieved them from all outside 
applications, by first dispensing charity to those worthy to receive it, 
and by means of rigid examinations, corresponded with kindred 
organizations in other States and Canada. In short by every means 
in its power, it detected and exposeed unworthy applicants 

We gleaned some local feelings from old minute books of 
Barton #6, Hamilton, St. Andrew's #16, Toronto and Ionic #25, 
Toronto. From St. Andrew's on February 26, 1884, "the lodge 
expresses its appreciation of the services of Bro. Spooner, Secretary 
Treasurer of the Masonic Benevolent Board who has faithfully 
discharged his duties as such for nearly 20 years". A letter was read 
on September 25, 1885 from the secretary of Britannia Lodge #170 
in Seaforth thanking St. Andrews' brethren for attending the funeral 
of one of their members, and offering to pay the expenses of such 
funeral costs which may have been incurred by St. Andrews' Lodge. 

The minutes of Ionic #25, on February 5, 1878 relate to the 
withholding of its subscription to the Masonic Benevolent Committee 
and withdrawal of its representative until such time as the lodges in 
arrears have paid their indebtedness. In June, 1880, the Benevolent 
Board laid before its members a scheme for the purchase of a burial 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 50 



plot for worthy indigent masons. In December, 1885, the annual 
report of Ionic spoke to the remodelling of the General Board of 
Benevolence with income of five cents per capita per month. 

Minutes from Barton #6 on June, 1873 record having received 
the extract from the Grand Lodge sub-committee on Benevolence, 
"that unless local Boards make regular detailed returns, no grants will 
be made by Grand Lodge." The January, 1874 minutes note the 
election of V.W. Bro. Richard Brierly as the lodge representative on 
the Masonic Benevolent Association of the Hamilton District. In 
May 1876 Barton received a communication from St. Alban's Lodge 
#200 in Mt. Forest warning all masons to be discreet in their 
conversations with an impostor named Evans, the proprietor of the 
Anglo-American Hotel in Mt. Forest. A District lodge under Barton 
#6, Strict Observance #27, St. John's #40 and Acacia #61 was 
opened for the purpose of celebrating the Festival of St. John the 
Baptist. It was called off, from whence the brethren formed in 
procession, marched to church and heard an excellent sermon. Tlie 
collection of $36.40 was in aid of the Benevolent Fund. A communi- 
cation of July 12, 1876 from the treasurer of the Albany Masonic 
Board of Relief was read stating that $10 had been granted a person 
giving the name G.T. Rochelle as a member of Barton. On April 11, 
1877 a communication was read from the Ladies Benevolent Society 
of Hamilton thanking the Masonic fraternity for the donation of $250 
to the poor fund of the Society of which Barton had contributed $54. 
On the Festival at St. John the Evangelist, the brethren marched to 
St. Thomas Church. The proceeds of the collection $44.50 were again 
for the aid of the United Benevolent Fund. Tliis practice still exists 
in Hamilton, where two Districts' Divine Services are held in the 
spring and fall, the proceeds of which are for the Hamilton Masonic 
Districts' Board of Relief. 

A review of Grand Lodge Benevolent Committee reports shows 
that by 1886 disbursements of individual grants from Grand Lodge 
were now or had been made through the Secretary-Treasurer of the 
local Board of ReHef in some 25 locations including Toronto, 
Hamilton, London, Kingston, Peterborough , St. Catherines, Ottawa, 
St. Thomas, Brockville, Chatham, Guelph, Stratford, Gait, Strathroy, 
Goderich, Windsor, Woodstock, Ingersoll, Barrie, Petrolia, Owen 
Sound, Niagara Falls, Belleville and Brantford. ITie Boards' incomes 
were basically grants from Grand Lodge, special grants for recipients 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 51 



delineated by Grand Lodge, grants or per capita assessments by local 
lodges and chapters, and proceeds from special entertainment nights 
and church collections. When the Board of General Purposes 
abolished its half-yearly meetings in 1879, likewise Boards of Relief 
were not required to make semi-annual returns. However to guard 
against "too rapid a consumption of funds " the granting of two equal 
half yearly amounts continued to be paid to local Boards of Relief 
or lodges who could determine the distribution in one or two 
instalments. Appendix 1. - Returns by Local Boards of Relief 1892, 
points out the close supervision by Grand Lodge over the activities 
of each registered Board. 



MASONIC RELIEF ASSOCIATION OF 
UNITED STATES AND CANADA 



In America prior to 1885 there was given by way of transient 
relief by lodges. Boards of Relief and private individuals approxi- 
mately $100,000 per year. In Ontario about $4-5,000 per year was 
given to transients. Private donations never appeared on lodge or 
Board of Relief returns. With the ever increasing number of 
impostors preying upon the charitable nature of Freemasonry, the 
need for a centralized and systematic organization brought some 20 
masons from across America and Canada to an informal meeting in 
Baltimore, Maryland in 1885. The indiscriminate giving of relief led 
to the formation of the General Board of Relief of the United States 
and Canada. Its objective was not to grant relief but, through a 
centralized system of enquiry, to inform lodges and Boards affiliated 
with the organization all over the continent of the names of the 
unworthy who were found applying for relief. 

One year later in St. Louis, Missouri by-laws, and a centralized 
communications plan for the relief of worthy masons were adopted 
under the name of the General Masonic Relief Association of the 
United States and Canada. Four of the 19 delegates, were from 
Canada. 

In his July, 1887 report as District Deputy for Toronto, 
R.W.Bro. John R. Robertson wrote with great pleasure of the work 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 52 



of the Toronto Board of Relief whose disposal of funds granted by 
Grand Lodge and Toronto lodges was aided by affiliation with the 
General Masonic Relief Association of the United States and 
Canada. Using rigid means of examination laid down by the 
Association and assisted by the warning circular issued monthly from 
the head office in Baltimore, hundreds of dollars were saved in the 
District. Eight out of every ten applying for assistance were un- 
worthy. In each case, the "wires" were used, in keeping with the 
International policy of wire first, limit assistance to one day at a time 
until deemed worthy. Robertson suggested that if Grand Lodge was 
to affiliate, at a per capita cost totalling $194, every lodge in the 
jurisdiction would receive a warning circular. It so happened that he 
was Second Vice President of the Association, and the second annual 
meeting was slated for Toronto September 28 and 29, 1887 and thus 
our Grand Lodge has been a member ever since. At the third 
annual meeting in Louisville, Kentucky. First Vice President 
Robertson requested the Canadian delegates to lay the benefits of 
the Association before the Grand Lodges of Manitoba, New 
Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, thus joining 
Canadian hands with the Association in exterminating frauds. 

The Official Warning Circular, being much more expansive and 
detailed than the "wires", had helped expose 226 cases of frauds and 
tramps which the Secretary had received from 84 different sources. 
By 1892 over 1200 tramps had been disclosed. Appendix 2-Official 
Warning Circular #151, April 1898. 

In his address at the eighth annual meeting in Boston on 
September 25, 1893 President J. R. Robertson, P.G.M. Canada, 
released many statistics about the ASvSociation now composed of 
seventeen Grand Lodges covering 191,000 members. Tlie Grand 
Lodges of Ohio, North Dakota and Oregon joined while Wisconsin 
withdrew. His recommendation that meetings hereafter be held every 
two years was adopted and still applies today. R.W. Bro. Richard B. 
Hungerford of London was elected First Vice President. 

One advantage of affiliation with the Association may be shown 
where the Toronto Board of Relief prior to 1886 paid out $1,000 to 
$1,200 per year in transient relief. From 1886 to 1896 the average 
was $150 annually, a savings of $8,000 in ten years. Scores of cases 
could be told like the tramp starting at Montreal with a stolen 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 53 



certificate who was followed by the system of the M.R.A. west of 
Port Hope where he found that he was being tracked. Fearful of 
detection in Toronto, he made for Hamilton. He was identified by a 
railway official, a brother who had learned of the case in an eastern 
Ontario lodge. Word was sent to Toronto, as well as to lodges on the 
southern division of the Grand Trunk Railway. The impostor was 
caught and the certificate taken from him in London. Tliis character 
admitted having taken in over 60 dollars in the six weeks besides his 
board and railway transportation. In 1897 the name was modified to 
the Masonic ReHef Association of the United States and Canada 
(M.R.A.). 

RETURN TO ONTARIO BOARDS OF RELIEF 
AND GRAND LODGE BENEVOLENCE 

An 1890 amendment proposed by Klotz and Robertson 
strengthened the purpose and use of Boards of Relief whereby all 
applications for relief from lodges situated in any city or town had to 
be transmitted through the approved local Board of Relief. Likewise 
the special grants to the applicants were distributed through the 
Secretary-Treasurer of the local Board accordingly. Tlie following 
year specific financial statements by each Board of Relief were no 
longer printed in the Proceedings. Abstracts similar to Appendix #1 
gave an overview of operations from time to time. Grants to local 
Boards for transient relief were much reduced but, special grants to 
individual applicants through the Boards increased greatly. By 1896, 
153 grants were made through the W.M.s of lodges while 137 grants 
were distributed through local Boards of Relief, totalling $9,830. The 
1896 regulation that, unless the application had the actual signature 
and post office address of the applicant, it would not be considered, 
remained in practice until last year, in spite of the humiliation it may 
have caused those in need, or those who refused to sign. R.W. Bro. 
J.E. Harding introduced the practice in which all Boards of Relief 
and all lodges should report all transient relief granted on a form 
furnished by the Grand Secretary to the Secretary of the M.R.A.. He 
also introduced the recognition of Boards of Relief by our Grand 
Lodge when the By-laws adopted by the local Board must be 
approved by the Grand Master on the recommendation of the 
Chairman of the Benevolence Committee for Grand Lodge. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 54 



By the turn of the century and henceforth Benevolent Reports 
to Grand Lodge noted returns having been received from all local 
Boards of Relief. Grants distributed throygh Boards nearly equalled 
the number distributed by lodges thyjj jjchtet^ing the work load o^ 
Inspector R.W. Bro. J. B. Nixon who was appojntpd in 1898 to 
investigate and report upon each case requiring assistance. From 
time to time Grand Lodge kept encouraging the establishment of 
Boards of ReHef in towns where two or more lodges were located. 

Applications for Grand Lodge Benevolence increased from 273 
in 1900 to 696 in 1925, when more grants were disbursed by Boards 
of Relief (352) than by lodges (344) - of which 515 were widows' 
pensions. R.W. Bro. Thomas Rowe was appointed a full time 
salaried Supervisor of Benevolence in 1925 at $3,000 per annum, 
while Nixon ,78 years old, who had served so efficiently for 30 years 
as Inspector of Benevolence gratis, was retained for his mature 
judgment and advice, as Advisory Inspector of Benevolence at $1200 
per annum. 

With increasing membership and harsh prevailing economic 
conditions. Boards of Relief disbursed 412 of the 797 grants totalling 
$117,075 in 1930. Tliis led R.W. Bro. Frank Copus, as Chairman of 
Benevolence, to caution brethren on the carelessness at the door of 
the lodge in the too often admission of members without due 
investigation of their financial and family responsibilities. Seventy 
years earlier G.M. Wilson spoke of members joining under the 
mistaken impression that Masonry was a benevolent society and that, 
by joining, they were securing for themselves and their families 
certain guarantees that they would be taken care of in sickness and 
in health. If so, the brother so entering Masonry for material 
advantages of this kind was entering under entirely wrong ideas. 
Copus stressed that every committee of enquiry should be assured 
that "in all reasonable probability the applicant and his family will 
not become a charge upon the benevolent funds" 

Throughout the early thirties, thousands found themselves faced 
with a degree of destitution they were powerless to overcome. 
Situations believed to be permanent were declared vacant without 
warning. Means of relief were devised but the bread lines grew 
longer like 1991 Food Banks Although unemployment relief rested 
primarily with the local lodge, some Boards of Relief addressed it on 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page ^4o. 55 



a wider front by incorporating Employment Bureaus to serve their 
area as well. 

CONFERENCES OF GRAND MASTERS 
AND GRAND SECRETARIES 

While Boards of Relief were continuing to thrive and serve an 
integral function for Craft masonry throughout North America under 
the centralized M.R.A., Grand Lodges were also beginning to take 
a concerted look at the needs of inter-jurisdictional relief and the 
sojourning masons and their concomitant difficulties. At the Seventh 
Conference of Grand Masters in 1934, a review of the methods of 
effective relief, and how to protect those worthy from the machina- 
tions of those who extorted relief without warrant, was presented and 
discussed. Times were changing and relief was taking on a greater 
meaning and scope. Improved means of transportation enhanced the 
migratory patterns of many. The 1928 Conference had stressed the 
need for continuous programs of education in the proper methods 
available for handling relief requests and investigations. Yet, in 
conclusion, the objects of the 50 year old M.R.A. which were: 

1. The detection and publication of unworthy masons and 
impostors in the Bulletin. 

2. Co-ordinating various forms of relief. 

3. Prompt and effective methods of handling inter- 
jurisdictional relief. 

4. An agency organizing Masonic relief in time of national 
disaster. 

5. A forum for resolving Masonic relief problems. 

were confirmed through the endorsation by this Conference of Grand 
Masters. In no way was the sovereignty of any Grand Lodge 
jeopardized. Unity in principle was a goal to be achieved by 
affiliating with the M.R.A.. 

Similarly at the first Conference of Grand Secretaries in 1927, 
as well in 1934, Inter-jurisdictional Relief was one subject addressed, 
under four major issues. First, the need for a definite policy on 
handling applicants for relief from outside America, the most 
troublesome being "Scotch brethren of the pound and shilling life 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 56 



memberships". Second, the technicahties involved when a mason 
secures a demit, leaves for another jurisdiction completely ignorant 
of the fact that this cuts him off from all masonic assistance and then 
his widow in need asks for help. Thirdly, standardized dues cards and 
routines for maintaining permanent accurate membership records. 
Lastly, that each jurisdiction should care for its own relief even 
though the member be a resident of another jurisdiction, so that no 
jurisdiction is unjustly forced to be burdened of the relief which 
belongs to another. Sometimes suggestions become accepted practice 
custom, as at the 1942 Conference of Grand Secretaries, where the 
rights of a demitting members were clearly enunciated: 

1. releasing him from regular attendance 

2. releasing him from obedience to the by-laws 

3. releasing him from attendance upon masonic processions 

4. releasing him from payment of dues 

5. depriving him from all benefits from lodge funds 

6. depriving him from the right to refer any difficulties he 
may have with a brother mason to the lodge for adjudicat- 
ion. 

7. depriving him of the right of a masonic burial (Memorial 
Service) 

8. he is subject to call, upon special summons by a Masonic 
lodge within the jurisdiction he may be 

9. he is subject to the general supervision which the lodge 
exercises over the morals of all masons within its jurisdic- 
tion 

10. he is subject to the full force of his masonic obligation 
(except as stated in #2) 

11. he has no claim for aid, counsel or advice from individual 
masons wheresoever dispersed and no claim by his widow 
or orphans after his death 

Basically the rules governing a demitted Mason also govern the 
status of a suspended Mason. 

The manner of handling a Burial Service as a courtesy to 
another Grand Lodge was reviewed in 1944 by the Conference of 
Grand Secretaries. This again helped to proclaim the work practiced 
by Boards of Relief as well as the Relief Lodges which handle 
deceased sojourner funerals, such as Louisianna Relief Lodge #1, 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page Ho. 57 



New Orleans chartered in 1854 and Vancouver Funeral Lodge #1 in 
British Columbia chartered in 1958. 

A summary of Memorial Practices for sojourning masons was 
pubHshed after the 1972 Conference of Grand Secretaries and 
supported by the M.R.A. Arrangements handled by the lodge 
involved were deemed quicker, more satisfactory, and less expensive. 
If not prohibited by a particular Grand Lodge edict, the request for 
a Masonic Service by a member of a deceased brother's family and 
the possession of a current dues card, were felt to be sufficient 
authorization for a lodge to conduct services. Lodge addresses and 
contact persons can be arranged through the Grand Secretaries. 



BOARDS OF RELIEF AND 
GRAND LODGE BENEVOLENCE 

The Toronto Board, organized on a much larger scale than 
most, devoted considerable attention to transients and to employ- 
ment for those outside the Toronto area. Tliey circularized their 
operation to all lodges in the Province and placed their services at 
the disposal of all lodges and Boards in Ontario. The M.R.A. was 
known not only for its unified work of transient relief for all Boards 
in United States and Canada, but also for furnishing current rehable 
lists of secretaries and addresses of all local Boards, thus ensuring 
prompt action. The secretary of the Kingston Board of Relief related 
how investigations occurred in his area. "The president of the local 
Board is the Chief of Police. If approached by a transient who 
claims to be a member of the Craft and I am not satisfied, I ask him 
to see the president. I inform him that he will find him at the City 
Building. Just ask for the Chief of Police. If he is genuine, the 
brother will go and see the president. If not, we have saved consider- 
able sums thereby." 

A special grant of $500 was made by Grand Lodge to the 
Toronto Board in 1936 for the work of their Employment Bureau 
with unemployed brethren who when registered were directed to 
work throughout the Province. Appendix #3, shows the Employment 
Bureau ad from the July 1938 Freemason Magazine. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 58 



Until 1941, Benevolent Reports to Grand Lodge always 
delineated the specific distribution of grants separately by Boards of 
Relief or by lodges, with Boards still dispensing the majority. 
However, since 1942, the statement describing the modes of 
distribution was folded into one line "Grants distributed through 
local Boards and Lodges" The War Relief was receiving much 
attention and activity about this time. Benevolent Committee 
Chairmen would congratulate and commend the excellent work of 
those Boards of Relief who in their quiet way gave assistance to 
transients, comfort and cheer to those in temporary distress, 
employment help, visitation to the sick who were removed from 
relatives and at times helped in the burial of indigent masons and 
their widows. 

By 1948 the number of active Boards of Relief in the Province 
numbered ten, located in Guelph, Hamilton, Kingston, London, 
Ottawa, Peterborough, Stratford, Toronto, Windsor and Woodstock. 
The Toronto Board changed its name to the Masonic Service Guild 
in 1950, a name more in keeping with their particular activities. 
R.W. Bro. George McQueen, succeeded M.W. Bro. R. Dargavel as 
Supervisor of Benevolence in 1952. Annually, he praised the good 
work of the few remaining Boards in assisting him in his duties of 
visitations and investigations. His plea for the creation of new Boards 
in city areas was not successful. With increasing social service 
benefits, combined with health care benefits and universal govern- 
ment pensions, came a decline in the number of requests for 
assistance from Grand Lodge and likewise a corresponding decline 
for similar services provided through Boards of Relief. One of their 
major purposes was waning. 



MASONIC RELIEF ASSOCIATION 

Since its founding in 1885, the Masonic Relief Association has 
had nine Presidents from Canada, seven of whom have been 
P.G.M.'s of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario 
-Robertson 1891, Hungerford 1900, Dargavel 1936, Hearn 1950, 
Martyn 1966, Bailey 1982, and Nancekivell 1990-1991. Toronto has 
hosted the Biennial Conference on five occasions, 1887, 1931, 1949, 
1967, 1983, and London did so in 1899. On September 25 through 
27, 1991, Hamilton will host the 49th Biennial Conference at the 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 59 



Venture Inn in Burlington. All are invited to attend the working 
meeting during Friday and the gala President*s Banquet with our 
ladies that evening. 

Like an invisible web stretching across the United States and 
Canada, the M.R.A. is an important part of the furnishings of every 
lodge in the two countries. It is a mystic tie which is woven to protect 
all masons, their widows and orphans from danger and need. It 
stands close at hand to each worthy mason in unexpected circum- 
stances. The Association accomodates the sojourner, handles funeral 
arrangements, separates impostors from the worthy, makes hospital 
visits, comforts the widow and cares for the needy children of a 
mason. 

More than 135 Boards and Bureaus are in active operation from 
coast to coast throughout North America, and are available 24 hours 
each day. Today, 42 Grand Lodges support the objectives of the 
M.R.A.. Currently, all Grand Lodges in Canada, save Nova Scotia, 
are subscribing members at a cost of 0.4 cents per member.This 
permits two voting representatives at the biennial conference and the 
distribution of the Bulletin to each lodge and Board within the 
jurisdiction. Appendix #4, Aims and Objectives of M.R.A.. 

Another publication issued annually through the support of the 
M.R.A. in conjunction with the Conference of Grand Lodge 
Secretaries is the booklet-List of Lodges Masonic. In addition to 
listing each Craft lodge under some 133 Grand Jurisdictions,a listing 
of current Boards of Relief, Employment and Service Bureaus of 
North America is found with a contact person, address and phone 
number. 



ACTIVE CANADIAN BOARDS 

Having attempted to contact all 20 Boards of Relief, Guilds or 
Bureaus with a Canadian address, I am pleased to briefly highlight 
some of the current services and significant developments of the 
eight Boards that replied. I must sincerely thank the secretaries of 
each for the extra work they did to assist in the research for this 
paper. Their names appear with their Board in the Reference 
Section. Appendix #5, Letter sent to Canadian Boards of Relief. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 60 



VANCOUVER MASONIC SERVICE BUREAU 

The Vancouver Masonic Board of Relief was organKed in 1897 
for the purpose of providing a centralized Masonic agency to assist 
in the problems of the sojourner. In 1908 it took its present name. 
Since 1910 it has been affiliated with the M.R.A. Each of the 65 
lodges in Greater Vancouver appoints one representative to the 
Bureau which meets monthly. The executive meets monthly. The 
Bureau is a registered charity and thus issues tax deductible receipts 
for donations to its annual appeal for sojourning brethren and 
widows, which totalled $46,192 in 1990. It also receives grants from 
various Grand Lodges and distributes them personally to recipients 
living in the Greater Vancouver area. Currently, our Grand Lodge 
forwards over $3,000 annually to three widows living in Vancouver, 
whose husbands were members of Eastern Ontario lodges. R.W. 
Bro. Gerald Churley, executive-director forwarded a vast amount of 
literature of the current services provided in that west coast Metro- 
politan Area. These include 53 manual wheelchairs for loan to 
masons or their neighbours should a mason sponsor the loan, plus 
crutches, walkers, commodes and canes. As an established medical 
aid suppHer with discount pricing, the Bureau is the central source 
of supplies for lodge members' needs. It is used by the Craft for 
purchasing equipment which becomes the property of the Bureau 
after the member has no longer need of such. It publishes a monthly 
trestleboard for all lodges in the area. Assisting in the funeral 
arrangements of the deceased sojourner via Funeral Lodge #1, 
hospital visitations to sojourning brethren from outside Vancouver, 
detecting impostors and reporting them to M.R.A., administering the 
Evergreen Haven burial plot for deceased brethren in distressed 
circumstances, executor for estates and providing general information 
and assistance to visiting brethren are some activities provided in 
putting into practice the lesson taught in the northeast angle. In 1990 
the Bureau disbursed over $14,000 in relief through its full-time 
director, well skilled in social work and capable of addressing the 
needs of sojourning masons and their families. With assets totalling 
over $180,000 it is the wealthiest of all the Canadian Boards. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 61 



OTTAWA MASONIC BOARD OF RELIEF 

Thanks to Secretary Treasurer, R.W. Bro. Alvin Styles, we have 
a copy of the original constitution and by-laws adopted at a special 
meeting on December 3, 1875. "Whereas, it is deemed expedient for 
the well-being of the Masonic fraternity of the City of Ottawa, that 
all Masonic ReHef should be dispensed through a Central Benevolent 
Committee, thus reducing the cost of working out the great object of 
the Craft, promoting and cementing those fraternal and charitable 
feelings which ought at all times to be a distinguishing characteristic 
of the Brotherhood, it is resolved that on and after the first day of 
January 1876, all Masonic relief shall be granted by a Central Board 
or Committee, to be denominated the Ottawa Masonic Board of 
Relief, consisting of one or more representatives of each of the 
lodges in this city." So succicntly stated, and likely similar to the 
purposes of the other Boards known to have existed at that time in 
our jurisdiction. Current membership consists of representatives from 
21 city lodges and one district lodge. It meets twice yearly. Initially 
funded by per capita assessment, the last 25 cents per capita was in 
1979. Tlie Ottawa Masonic Burial Plot founded in 1878, is a 
subsidiary body of the Board of Relief. Burial in the plot is restricted 
to indigent Masons. Tlie Board makes enquiry into each application 
for assistance, grants such aid as deemed necessary, and publishes an 
annual report which each representative shares with his lodge. Tlie 
W.M. of a lodge refers each case requiring attention to the lodge 
representative, who carries the situation to the Board. Tlie Board is 
responsible to the lodge through the representative who has full 
authority delegated to him by his lodge. 



TORONTO MASONIC SERVICE 
GUILD AND BUREAU 

Reference already has been made to the several entries in the 
early minutes of St. Andrew's #16 and Ionic #25 alluding to the 
General Board of Benevolence or the Toronto Central Benevolence 
Committee. It was organized in 1870 to equitably undertake 
financial assistance for any needy brother and to arrange matters of 
local benevolence. As Toronto expanded, the majority of lodges in 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 62 



the Toronto Districts became members. As lodges commenced 
setting up their own Benevolent Funds for the services of their own 
members needs, assistance provided became restricted to transient 
Masons and members outside the Toronto Districts. 

The annual report for 1883 notes: 



193 cases of transient relief 


$874 


53 cases of local rehef 


261 


19 regular pensioners 
loans, board, etc. 


635 
163 


16 cases of widows and 




orphans 
Income: St. James Church collection 


95 
161 


Grants from Grand Lodge 


635 



Masonic Burial Plot - 2 deceased Masons strangers in the city. 
More transient relief is required every year, was noted. Difficulties 
in 1874 resulted in seven of the 14 City lodges ceasing to contribute 
support. 

The Toronto Masonic Board of Relief was founded January 1, 
1885, with each city lodge represented on the contribution of five 
cents per capita per month. The first Annual Report ending March 
1, 1886 noted seven contributing lodges - St. Andrew's #16, Ionic 
#25, St. John's #75, Rehoboam #65, Wilson #86, Stevenson #218 
and Doric #316.and four withdrawn lodges, Zetland #326, Ashlar 
#247, Orient #339 and King Solomons #22. On January 1, 1887 
affiliation with M.R.A. was made at cost of one cent per capita, a 
duty then undertaken by Grand Lodge for all lodges under its 
administration. A balance of $1,112 as of December 31, 1887 was due 
in large measure to the connection with M.R.A. enabhng the 
detection of impostors and the practice of "wiring to the lodge from 
which the brother claims to hail. 

In 1883 R.W. Bro. John Ross Robertson purchased a lot in the 
Mount Pleasant Cemetary to be known as the "King Solomon Plot", 
erected an unique monument in the centre, and by deed of trust 
conveyed the plot to the Craft in general. The grey granite Ionic 
column, surmounted by a sphere on which is affixed emblems of the 
Order in bronze, depicts the universality of the Craft. It is the burial 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 63 



ground for indigent masons, legally and lawfully admitted members 
of Ancient Free and Accepted Masonry. In its first 57 years, 120 
members were buried therein: England 34, Scotland 25, Ireland 14, 
Canada 38, U.S.A. 3, Channel Islands 3, Newfoundland 2, unknown 
1. 

Being located in the provincial capital of Ontario, a most active 
transportation centre, a major Canadian business centre, the major 
medical centre of the Province and a fast growing metropolitan area, 
the Toronto Board of Relief was often sought out for a variety of 
needs by transient and sojourning masons. Funded by annual per 
capita assessment of 10 cents from each City lodge, the 74th Annual 
Report in 1944 notes 110 applications for transient relief totalling 
$839.45. Beside providing fraternal visitations to hospitals and 
homebound brethren and families, the Poard continued to provide 
employment assistance to immigrant brethren. The Grand Lodge 
Benevolence Committee relied heavily upon the Secretary-Treasurer 
to investigate all applications for benevolence and in turn to visit and 
disburse such grants on behalf of Grand Lodge. Likewise, other 
Grand Lodges, including England, Ireland and Scotland utilized the 
Board to investigate and disburse pensions to widows of former 
members of those countries. 

In 1950, the title of the Masonic Service Guild of Toronto was 
adopted, a name more in keeping with the variety of services offered 
from the permanent office at 77 York Street. Each May, an Annual 
Memorial Service is held at the King Solomon Plot. Hospital visits, 
local cases of need, disbursement of Trust Funds and Grand Lodge 
grants, assisting visitors and disseminating information were the 
major responsibilities of the Bureau under the leadership of a 
Chairman, the Secretary-Treasurer and representatives from the 130 
lodges in the seven Toronto Districts. Since 1984 the Bureau 
operates from the home of the Secretary - Treasurer. 

On January 1, 1990, by resolution of each body, the Masonic 
Service Guild of Toronto and the Central Masonic Bureau of 
Toronto united their functions into a single organization called the 
Toronto Masonic Service Guild and Bureau. The objects of : 
providing aid and relief to those worthy not under the jurisdiction of 
Toronto lodges; assisting in the administration of relief through 
Grand Lodge; or a subordinate lodge of any recognized jurisdiction; 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 64 



performing any masonic service when requested, within the scope of 
its ability and not conflicting with Grand Lodge; and maintaining the 
King Solomon's Plot are still in effect. We wish them well in this 
blending of roles, as they address their current needs and purposes, 
through three meetings a year and an annual per capita assessment 
determined at the annual meeting. Secretary-Treasurer, V.W.Bro.Reg 
Medhurst was most helpful in providing information. 



COMMITTEE ON BENEVOLENCE 
- PETERBOROUGH - 

Three members from the four city lodges constitute the 
Committee on Benevolence which handles all cases of relief in 
Peterborough. Each lodge has a Committee on Benevolence 
consisting of the three designated members mentioned above. These 
lodge committees report to the central body which does the investig- 
ation, and if need be takes the necessary action. Sometimes this is 
from Benevolent Committee funds, or if the need is considerable, the 
application form for Grand Lodge funds is completed, submitted to 
the respective lodge for approval and forwarded to the Grand Lodge 
Committee on Benevolence for consideration. Source of funds has 
been a per capita assessment until 1978, interest on capital and 
Grand Lodge funds if there is a major need of a continuing nature. 
The Committee meets at least twice yearly and considers itself to be 
the trustees of monies given for the sole purpose of masonic relief 
and benevolence and thus has no authority to donate to public 
charities however worthy. One exception deemed most deserving was 
a $1500 donation to the purchase of a Cat Scan Unit for local use. 
Called the Board of Relief until 1970, the Committee is the central 
contact for Boards of Relief from United States and Canada. It 
regularly provides visitation and contact for sojourners and masons 
who have relocated in the area. Recent activities include assisting a 
member living out of province during his illness and with funeral 
costs, shingling the roof of a widow, painting a widow's cottage, 
installation of storm windows on a widow's home to reduce fuel costs 
and assisting in the purchase of an electric wheel chair. As R.W. Bro. 
H.A.Baptie, Secretary-Treasurer said in his very comprehensive 
supportive material for this writer, "^We do what has to be done." 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page Ho. 65 



MASONIC SERVICE GUILD OF 
SUDBURY-MANITOULIN DISTRICT 

After 12 years of meetings, the Masonic Bureau of the Sudbury- 
-Manitoulin District, consisting of representatives from five city 
lodges commenced operation January 1, 1963. At the September, 
1965 meeting it was explained how the Bureau could also operate as 
a Masonic Service Guild, modelled after Toronto, to inform the 
various lodges of a brother who might be confined to a local hospital. 
By 1966, the Guild had registered with the M.R.A. and was thus 
recognized throughout North America. The Bureau and Guild 
operate as one body, hold joint meetings and share the same officers 
who are elected each January. Tlie Guild functions as the District 
contact for cases of relief in and from the Sudbury-Manitoulin area. 
Our appreciation to R.W. Bro. Warren Mulack Secretary-Treasurer 
for providing copies of the History of the Bureau and Guild. 



KINGSTON MASONIC BOARD 
OF RELIEF 

R.W. Bro. David Stevens very kindly met with this writer last 
fall to review some of the benevolent happenings of the Kingston 
area. With support and leadership from St. John's lodge #3, a 
hospital room was furnished in 1947. Since then, assistance has been 
given to hospitalized brethren, wheel chairs purchased, subsidies paid 
for special operations, and $2700 donated to the Children's Section 
of the Hotel Dieu Hospital. In 1980, under the leadership of the 
District Chairman of Benevolence, support was given for furnishing 
another hospital room. The Board is registered with the M.R.A. and 
carries out its objects. 



LONDON BENEVOLENT ASSOCIATION INC. 

The Board of Benevolence was organized in September 1871 by 
the city lodges and maintained by half-yearly grants of $25 per lodge. 
In 1883, the original masonic burial plot purchased in 1865 in St. 
Paul's Cemetery being closed, a new lot was procured in Woodland 
Cemetery in perpetuity for brethren and their wives. Each May, an 



i 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 66 



annual Memorial Service is observed around the Memorial Stone 
bearing a quotation from Kipling, "Till the Master of all good 
workmen shall set us to work anew." On either side are two smaller 
ashlars, one smooth and the other rough. 

Membership is open to one representative from each Craft 
lodge in the two London Districts. The current numbering is 15. 
Being formed for charitable purposes, it receives funds created or 
donated by will, deed, trust, or gift and invests the same as a trust. 
From the interest of investments, funds are disbursed for charitable 
or eleemosynary purposes. Individual member assistance is given on 
a matching basis with the brother's lodge. Examples of recent 
benevolent grants include those given to Canadian Diabetes 
Association $4500, Project lI.E.L.P. $5,000, M.R.A. $150, Hospital 
Beds $180, Wheelchairs $900, Project H.O.M.E. $500, Parkwood 
Hospital Bldg. Fund $500, Mission Services Van $8,000. llianks is 
given to R.W. Bro. Hugh Cree, President and acting Secretary- 
Treasurer for his prompt and thorough assistance in sharing the 
above. V. Wor. Bro. Orton Logan has been the central force of this 
Association for many years. 



HAMILTON MASONIC DISTRICTS' 
BOARD OF RELIEF 

As early as 1855, Barton, St. John's and Strict Observance 
lodges developed a combined plan to dispense masonic charity in a 
systematic manner. Each lodge pledged to contribute annually 15 
cents per capita of membership in order to provide a fund for the 
relief of worthy brethren in distress, their widows or families, in a 
manner to be decided by the committee in charge. For some 
undisclosed reason, the plan failed to materialb,e. Four years later, 
a similar co-operative plan named "Tlic United Masonic Benevolent 
Fund" supported by an initial donation of $10 from each lodge and 
an assessment of 10 percent of the annual receipts of each lodge plus 
the collections from the divine services in connection with the 
Festivals of the St.Johns' became operational. 

R.W. Bro. Seymour's report of 1867, made note of the "Hamil- 
ton Benevolent Fund" supported by 10 percent of all receipts from 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 67 



the four city lodges Barton #6, Strict Observance #27, St. John's 
#40 and Acacia #61. The 1869 Grand Lodge Report on Benevo- 
lence refers to $50 being appropriated to the "Hamilton Relief 
Committee", while the 1871 report includes a $100 grant to the 
"Hamilton Board of Relief and the minutes of Barton Lodge, 
January, 1874 note the election of V.W.Bro. Richard Brierly to the 
Board of Directors of the "Masonic Benevolent Association of the 
Hamilton District". Subsequent minutes of Barton #6 on May 8, 
1876 and April 11, 1877 record proceeds from the collections of 
District Church Services amounting to $36.40 and $44.50 were in aid 
of the "United Benevolent Fund Board" Whatever the name, the 
Hamilton area lodges were organized under a centralized body, for 
the purpose of distributing masonic benevolence. Located in an 
active industrialized port city and also the seat of Masonry in 
Ontario, the Hamilton Masonic Board of Relief assumed its name 
about the time Grand Lodge started subsidizing grants to transient 
brethren, and the M.R.A. was beginning. Membership consisted of 
one elected representative from each city lodge and those lodges 
holding concurrent jurisdiction. Funds were received from subscribing 
lodges at five cents per capita, and proceeds from semi-annual 
church services. Its object was the extension of aid and financial 
assistance to transient brethren, their wives, widows and orphans. 
Unworthy applicants were to be, and still are, reported to the 
M.R.A.. In 1908, $1,000 was sent by the Hamilton masons to 
distressed members of the Order in Fernie B.C. which was destroyed 
by forest fire. 

In 1931 a burial plot was purchased in Woodland Cemetery 
overlooking Hamilton Bay. It currently contains 38 bodies of indigent 
masons and their wives, the last interment being made in 1990. It 
could hold 148 more. In 1963, a registered charitable number was 
acquired which allowed for donations to be Income Tax deductible. 
Through the sixties and mid seventies, lodge per capita payments and 
collections from twice-yearly church services far exceeded the 
expenditures for transient relief and administration. No per capita 
lodge assessment has been asked since 1972. Hospital visitations to 
sojourning masons became a regular function while transient needs 
decreased. 

In 1972 the Board of ReHef Church Services were combined 
with the Districts* Church Services, to become the Districts* Divine 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 68 



Services in support of the Board of Relief. With concurrent juris- 
diction, all lodges in the three Hamilton Districts became eligible for 
membership. 

In 1978, the phrase "and such other charitable purposes as the 
Board shall determine" was added to its object, in a hope of 
addressing a wider field of human needs beyond the purview of 
transient masonic relief. This has had a two-fold multiplier effect in 
that donations have annually increased as have the grants to a variety 
of needs, both masonic and non-masonic. Appendix #6 is a copy of 
the invitation to a Divine Service, accompanied with the amounts of 
Benevolence granted in 1988 and 1990. The Board has made grants 
to the maximum of $10,000 for local children requiring bone marrow 
transplants in American cities and for research in Pediatric Hema- 
tology and Oncology at McMaster University. Without neglecting its 
masonic responsibilities, the Board also considers requests brought 
by any one of the elected representatives to the twice-yearly 
meetings. All requests are investigated by a committee appointed by 
the executive, prior to presentation for open vote. Through regular 
payments to M.R.A., each member and his lodge receives a copy of 
the Bulletin. 

The Board is pleased to host the 49th Biennial Conference of 
M.R.A. this September 25-27 in Burlington, with generous support 
from the Toronto Masonic Guild and Bureau, the Waterloo District 
brethren and Grand Lodge. Appendix #7, The Bulletin, March 1991, 
announcing the 49th Bienniel Conference. The Board maintains a 
supply of wheelchairs and ambulatory aids, and will always procure 
new equipment when needed 

In recent years large sums have been donated to city agencies, 
food banks. Secretary-Treasurer V.W.Bro. Joe Hobson, issues many 
income tax deductible receipts as he assists in the direction of a very 
active Board. Thanks Joe. 



CLOSING 

Since 1964, annual reports of the Committee on Benevolence to 
Grand Lodge have lauded and compHmented the work of the Boards 
of Relief in larger Ontario centres. The administration of grants from 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 69 



Grand Lodge by Boards was last mentioned in 1977. With the 
introduction of District Chairmen of Benevolence in 1970, and 
concerted efforts to have private lodges assume greater responsibility 
for their own, the purpose of utilizing local Boards of Relief for the 
investigation and distribution of Grand Lodge Benevolent Grants has 
ceased. Before the turn of the century at least 25 Ontario Boards 
were serving an integral function in the kaleidoscope of masonic 
activities locally, provincially and internationally, a truly unique 
North American phenomenon. Since then, some have ceased. Others 
have chosen to remain operational under the by-laws established at 
their founding with few or no amendments. Some have folded two 
distinct masonic functions into one lx>dy. Others have for various 
reasons, amended their by-laws minimally, but in keeping with what 
would allow their Board to address a variety of issues, masonic and 
non-masonic, local, provincial and international. Each is somewhere 
on a spectrum from active with vitality and purpose at one end, 
graduated to expiring and inert at the opposite. Internationally the 
picture is similar. One hundred and eighty three Boards were 
registered with the M.R.A. in 1967, while today the number is 135. 
However, there is an up-beat note as well in that the number of 
supporting Grand Lodges of the M.R.A. has grown to 42. Tliey must 
feel their needs are well served for the minimal cost involved. 
Should masonic wisdom dictate that we look at alternatives for 
Boards to serve, or should they be permitted to take the same course 
that firemen followed on diesel locomotives? 

As Northerners, we are becoming more like migratory birds in 
our search for the sun and warmer climates during harsh Canadian 
winters often after retirement. Life in another state and in another 
country progresses smoothly until an emergency strikes, such as 
illness, death or accident. Panic becomes a by-product as the gap 
between costs of care and income increases. It is usually at this point 
that the fraternity is thought of as a resource, but how does one 
access its aid? Granted, there is a fairly high turn around in lodge 
attenders over a short period of time. Should a perpetual systematic 
method of educating our membership of the role of masonic relief 
be ongoing? Since February, 1859, the founding date of the Brooklyn 
New York Board of Relief, administrators of Boards of Relief have 
responded in the broadest sense of the term, as general practitioners 
in the field of masonic assistance. Is there a role for this general 
practioner in the 21st century? 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 70 



When abusers of masonic privileges began to prey upon masonic 
brethren and their lodges throughout North America, local Boards 
of Relief, carrying various titles developed from necessity to reduce 
and to destroy such nefarious activity. At the same time they 
equitably and systematically distributed succor to those deemed 
eligible according to the early Constitutions, Regulations and 
Charges. 

In summation, my brethren, I have attempted to present the 
rising, the plateauing and in some cases the decline of a North 
American phenomenon. Masonic Boards of Relief. Of necessity and 
relativity, customs and practices of benevolence and charity, espec- 
ially in our Grand Jurisdiction had to be woven into the fabric of 
Masonic Relief, along with date lines. Having airplanes capable of 
speeds three times that of sound, satellite communications beaming 
the accuracy of live warfare half a globe away into our homes are 
Boards of Relief relative to present day Masonry? "I say yes - 
emphatically yes" Beside carrying out the many functions such as 
those done by the Hamiton Board of Relief amd raising sums of 
money, there is so much need out there for other avenues of 
Masonic Charity, possibly greater now than ever. Some will be 
channelled in an organized systematic fashion. And some, possibly 
the most important form of charity, will be given in a more personal 
and individual way. Money alone does not constitute charity. A smile, 
a warm handshake, an encouraging word, a few moments of your 
time can set a brother on his way with a new determination. In a 
great many cases these form the greatest "Relief a man can receive. 
It costs so little, yet can mean so much. Possibly someday, a 
multi-purpose Masonic Service Centre will be located in every major 
city across north America, modelled on the Vancouver Masonic 
Service Bureau format, a vision for the future. 

The task of tracing the evolution of Boards of Relief has been 
somewhat of a challenge, and a greater consumer of time than 
originally planned, yet somewhat of a pleasure as well. May the 
broad mantle of masonic charity cover my many literary failures, sins 
of omission and lack of further research. My family have been very 
understanding. Thank you Jayne and thank you Jennifer. To Donna, 
your support in "word processing" has been excellent. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 71 



When asked "What is the duty of a Mason to his brother?", 
Former President of the United States of America and Past Grand 
Master of New York, Dewitt-CHnton in 1793 replied, "To bring 
rehef to his brother and to care for his family in the time of need." 
The universal element in Masonry is a living and shaping ideal, a 
mighty ethical and spiritual power working for the extension of social 
morality into every walk of hfe, as well as for the cultivation and 
improvement of the human mind." 

"There is a destiny that makes us brothers, 
None goes his way alone, 
All that we put into the lives of others. 
Comes back into our own." 

Anon 

So mote it be! 



REFERENCES 



1. Address of Grand Master William Mercer Wilson to Grand 
Lodge in Ottawa, July 11, I860.- from the 1860 Proceedings. 

2. Report of Grand Historian, R.W. Bro. Wallace McLeod, Grand 
Lodge Toronto, 1990 - from the 1990 Proceedings 

3. The Canadian Craftsman August 1882 

4. The Canadian Craftsman, July 1893 

5. Proceedings 1860 

6. " 1864 

7. " 1867 

8. " 1868 

9. " 1871 

10. " 1872 

11. The Barton Lodge A.F., and A.M. #6, C.R.C., 1795-1945 
MacDonald, Toronto, October 1945, P.18 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 72 



APPENDIX 

(It was not possible to reproduce the following in the format 
of these Proceedings) 

1. Returns by Local Boards of Relief 1892 Proceedings 

2. Official Warning Circular No. 151, April 1, 1898 by the 
Masonic Relief Association of United States and Canada 

3. Toronto Masonic Employment Bureau - July 1938, Freemason 
Magazine 

4. Aims and Objectives of the Masonic Relief Association of 
United States and Canada, 1989 

5. Letter sent to 20 Canadian Boards of Relief 

6. Invitation to Divinee Service, 1984, and Benevolence 
granted by Hamilton Board of Relief in 1988 and 1990 
reverse of page showing add published in the Spectator, May 
1989 

7. The Bulletin, March 1991, Announcing the 49th Biennial 
Meeting. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 

1. Anderson's Constitutions - 1723 

2. The Barton Lodge A.F. and A.M. No. 6, G.R.C. 1795 - 1945, 
Ryerson Press Toronto, Norman MacDonald, 1945 

3. Beyond the Pillars, Wallace McLeod - 1972 

4. The Bulletin, Masonic Relief Association, 1967 to present 

5. Conference of Grand Masters, Articles from 1927, 1933, 1934 

6. Conference of Grand Secretaries, Articles from 1934, 1935, 
1942, 1944, 1958, 1966, 1975 

7. Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province b 
Ontario, 1950, 1983 plus amendments 

8. A Digest of Masonic Jurispurdence, Henry Robertson, 1881 

9. The History of Freemasonry In Canada, John R. Robertson, 
1900 

10. The History of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of 
Ontario, 1855 - 1930, Herrington, 1930 

11. List of Lodges Masonic, Bloomington IlUnois 1967 - present 

12. The Masonic Manual, David Bradley, 1988 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page Ho. 73 



13. The Masonic Sun, Toronto 1897 - 1908 

14. Original Minutes, Barton #6, Hamilton 1857-1879 

15. Original Minutes, Ionic #25, Toronto 1847-1889 

16. Original Minutes, St. Andrew's Lodge #16, Toronto 1822-1888 

17. Noonthouck's Constitutions, 1784 

18. Proceedings of the Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of 
Ontario 1855-1990 

19. Whence Come We, Wallace McLeod 1979 

20. Correspondence from Secretary-Treasurers of replying Boards 
from: 

Hamilton - V.W. Bro. J.Hobson 

Kingston - R.W. Bro. D. Stevens 

London - R.W. Bro. H. Cree 

Ottawa - R. Bro. A. Styles 

Peterborough - R.W. Bro. H.A. Baptie 

Sudbury - R.W. Bro. W. Mulack 

Toronto - V.W. Bro. R.Medhurst 

Vancouver - R.W. Bro. G. Churley 

Wayne E. Elgie 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 74 



REVIEW OF PAPER TITLED 
MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF 

Reviewed by 
R.W. Bro. Kenneth L. Whiting 



Worshipful Master and Brethren, my thanks to R.W. Bro. Fd. 
Drew for providing me this opportunity to review R.W. Bro. Elgie's 
paper "Masonic Boards of Relief. 

Indeed as Supervisor of Benevolence for Grand Lodge, I have 
had the opportunity of working with Bro. FJgie on the Benevolence 
Committee of Grand Lodge. As such I am always cognizant of not 
only his knowledge and oratorical capabilities but his background and 
concern in those areas covered by his enlightening paper. 

R.W. Bro. Elgie's formal training and his occupation with the 
Hamilton Board of Education have given him a clear insight into the 
needs and welfare of others. Tliis insight has been well honed in his 
former capacity of President of the Hamilton Relief Association and 
has provided considerable insight for his extensive research for this 
paper. 

R.W. Bro. Elgie is to be congratulated for presenting to this 
gathering of Heritage Lodge an area of Freemasonry largely 
unknown to most of its adherents. 

The approach to the historical sketches of the various Boards 
of Relief in Ontario is skilfully woven through a history of assistance 
and charity to sojourning Masons as well as, in his words, "imposters, 
tramps and dead-beats". The vignettes he has described on the skills 
and ploys of these "dead-beats" were unfortunately all too frequent 
in our early history. Perhaps unknown to most brethren today, there 
are still unworthy men attempting to separate Masons from their 
money and property. We continue to get notices from other Grand 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 75 



Lodges regarding attempts by con artists to obtain wages that are not 
their due. 

If you think "imposters and dead-beats" are gone, a thing of the 
past, let me share with you what happened in 1990. 

A recent letter to our office from the Grand Lodge of the State 
of Washington warned of a Brother and his two sons from India who 
had resided for a year in the State of Washington while he com- 
pleted some Post Doctoral work and his sons attended American 
schools. During this period he affiliated with one of their lodges and 
shortly afterward requested assistance from three of their brethren 
for either loans or guaranteed accounts in a local bank to satisfy the 
Immigration and Naturalization Services requirements for sufficient 
funds to support the family during their temporary residence in the 
U.S.A. The Grand Secretary reports that in late July or early August 
this Brother left the area leaving no forwarding address or contact or 
giving any assurance to those brethren who had advanced him funds. 
Just before departing he withdrew the remaining funds in the 
account guaranteed by one of their members in the amount of some 
$10,000.00 leaving their brother having to pay the bank. 

On communication with the Grand Lodge of India, they found 
out he may be heading for Toronto and warned us of such. Interest- 
ingly enough, he did show up in Toronto and made contact with one 
of our lodges and was again befriended. He worked his ploy with one 
of the members of this lodge who loaned him $2,000.00 and also 
loaned his son a personal computer. Then the disappearing act again, 
with one difference, the son was located at York University and with 
the aid of Toronto's finest was persuaded to give the personal 
computer back to it's rightful owner. Charges have been laid and my 
understanding is, they will be heard later this spring. 

In the meanwhile, we have received further correspondence 
from the Grand Lodge of the State of Washington that the brother 
was charged with Unmasonic Conduct, a trial held and he was 
expelled from the Order. This information has been forwarded to the 
Grand Lodge of India for whatever action they may wish to take 
against the brother in his own country. 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 76 



This is one storey, and there are others, possibly brings me to 
the point that as Supervisor of Benevolence, should we be offering 
more information through Workshop Training to our current Masons 
about how they or we should be cautioned about the dead-beats and 
imposters of present day Masonry. 

The history of the Masonic Relief Association of the United 
States of America and Canada is well documented in this paper and 
probably of much interest to our brethren to learn that the Grand 
Lodge of Canada has played such an active roll in that history, 
particularly in providing the expertise of seven of our Past Grand 
Masters up to and including Past Grand Master Dr. Eric Nancekivell, 
who is the current President. 

R.W. Bro. Elgie*s investigation into the current Boards of 
Relief, Guilds or Bureaus has presented to the listener and reader a 
greater feeling for the benevolent or charitable work of some of 
these boards within Canada. 

The questions asked by R.W. Bro. Elgie, i.e. "Is there a roll for 
Boards of Relief in the 21st Century", and "Are Boards of Relief 
Relative to Present Day Masonry" can provoke much and varied 
thought amongst the brethren of a fairly affluent Masonic Society 
today, depending on each individuals association with charitable or 
benevolent purposes in societ or within the Craft. 

The very fact that Bro. Elgie chooses to answer these questions 
himself rather than to leave them hanging is a testament to his caring 
and concern. I must agree with him in this concern for Masonic 
Relief and Public Support and our assistance may well yet be the 
brightest light that can shine from under our bushel. 

The research effort and well prepared presentation by R.W. 
Bro. Elgie makes this paper unique to our brethren, mainly because 
the topic has been too little known and too little exposed for too 
long a time. 

Thank you Wayne for providing for all of us that "daily 
advancement in Masonic Knowledge". 

Kenneth L. Whiting 



MASONIC BOARDS OF RELIEF Page No. 77 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL* 

by 
V.W. Bro. Allan J. Cohoe 



The title of this paper, From Time Immemorial, is taken from 
the opening and introduction of the Master Elect in the ceremony of 
installation of a Lodge Master. It stirs one's imagination as to what 
happened before we can remember, or before records and knowledge 
existed; those being the dictionary meanings of immemorial. 

I shall endeavour to indicate some of the paths by which the 
principles and truths of our Masonic Order may have come across 
great spaces of human intellectual endeavour and reached 18th 
Century Western Europe. Did the Old Charges grow of themselves? 
Did they start from nothing as they were found? It is not likely. 

Tlie Old Charges have been well documented as to probable 
origin and connection to our Accepted Masonry of today. However, 
where did these ideas originate? Can we say that the King James 
version of the Bible was the sole source? It is to rule and govern 
ourselves as individuals thus making us agreeable to acceptance of 
the Supreme Being as the Creator of the universe. 

Can we assume that the various Vs. O. T. S. L. in use around 
the World today were the total inspiration for Freemasonry? Tlien 
consider the Sikh's Sri Guru Sahib; the Hindu Bhagavad Gita; the 
Zoroastrian Khordeth Avesta; the Moslem Koran; the Old Testa- 
ment of the Jews; and the Buddhist Phammapada. Does our accept- 
ance of all who believe in the Great Architect of the Universe and 
accept certain principles of that belief prove that the idea of 
Freemasonry began at the establishment of these various religions? 



♦ Paper presented at the Regular Meeting of TTie Heritage Lodge 
and hosted by Union Lodge No. 9, G.R.C., Kingston, Ontario, on 
Wednesday evening, May 15, 1991. 

From Time Immemorial Page No. 78 



Again it docs not seem likely. Since we arc not a religion, but 
a philosophy there seems no reason to add creedal restrictions to our 
universal brotherhood. This makes all good men of these faiths 
acceptable as brothers whhin our Order. I raise these questions to 
pursue a trail I think may have had a profound effect on the content 
of our Order's Work and the development of our principles. 

There is nothing new in my paper. My critics will be quick to 
point out that my sources are not original. I have relied heavily on 
Edward Gibbon's (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire) and 
Boethius's (Tlie Consolation of Philosophy) . My only plea is that I 
do not have the libraries to which these writers had access, nor do 
I have a command of Greek and Latin as they did. The following 
facts cannot always be in order but, I shall endeavour to relate them 
to orderly human progress as much as possible. I hope reviewers, 
more scholarly than I will be able to enlighten me as well as our 
other members as to the soundness of my theories. It is my belief 
that the information of this paper will prove valuable to many 
knowledgeable Masons who have not had the benefit of concentrated 
philosophical or historical studies. 

Pythagoras, whose system is referred to in the lecture of the E. 
A. D., has been credited with inventing the word philosophy. The 
meaning may be interpreted "love of wisdom, a seeker after truth". 
Pythagoras developed an association which lasted for about one 
thousand years and ended only when the group began to infiltrate 
into, and involve itself with the political structure. Then it was 
quickly destroyed.[l] Tliat was about 500 A.D. just when Boethius 
came on the scene. 

Pythagoras is believed to have absorbed the Arabic numerals 
when he served in the military in Asia Minor as a young man. Tliis 
of course led to the development of arithmetic and geometry. That 
Pythagoras was the first of many is evident from the fact that he died 
c. 500 B.C. and the following were born later as indicated by the 
figure after their names: Socrates c. 31 years later; Sophocles 5 years 
later; Plato 83 years later; and Aristotle 116 years later. These 



♦ Paper presented at the Regular Meeting of The Heritage Lodge 
and hosted by Union Lodge No. 9, G.R.C., Kingston, Ontario, on 
Wednesday evening, May 15, 1991. 

From Time Immemorial Page No. 79 



became the vigorous philosophic group in ancient Athens. However 
another six were leaders in drama, oratory, and government, just 
within about a century and a half. Most of these skills are important 
components of our Order. We rate them the liberal arts and sciences 
in our Work. 

Albert G. Mackey*s (Encyclopedia of Freemasonry) is available 
to most Freemasons I believe, and points out that Pythagoras ran a 
school in which there were three levels of membership. The first 
were called mathematicians and studied the exact sciences. The 
second group were named theoreticians who studied the knowledge 
of God and the future state of man. The third and highest group 
admitted only a few of the brighter members of the followers of 
Pythagoras. They were known as esoterics. There seems little doubt 
that Freemasonry in due course borrowed some of these ideas and 
perhaps the three degrees. 

I have already mentioned Arabic numerals which made possible 
the development of arithmetic, one of Masonry's sciences. It is only 
proper here to mention that many of the written works of the 
Athenians disappeared and it was much later that western scholars 
discovered in Arabic Hterature the translations from Greek of missing 
Grecian work. [2] We, as Masons, owe a debt of gratitude for the 
rediscovery of this early wisdom. Obviously it came from the East 
and spread its benign influence to the West. 

How was it spread to us? This brings us to examine the work of 
Boethius a top Roman civil servant. I propose to give some details 
of his life before I touch on his work. This will remind those who are 
already trained in philosophy and also assist others to understand 
how it happened. A Roman boy was born c. 480 A. D. One of his 
given names indicated that he was of the ruling aristocracy. His 
surname was Boethius. 

Boethius, early in his life became an orphan of obvious wealth 
and rank. He must have had a good guardian. He may have spent 
some of his first 18 years in Athens where he learned Greek, 
absorbed the knowledge and customs of that society which was at the 
end of about a millennium of advanced culture. He was well finished 
in the Latin classics and reputed to have an unusual ability to write 
in the language of the ordinary citizen who by then was beginning to 
use early Italian rather than Latin. The sources he quotes in his 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 80 



writings and his references to his hbrary, while in prison, indicate he 
was not only well read in the classics and literature of his time but 
also could recall them without the actual texts. 

Boethius married the daughter of Symmachus, a wealthy Roman 
who had been a consul and senator and, was Boethius's guardian 
during his minority. They were good friends. Boethius was assured 
of a successful career. He did become a consul, a senator and lived 
to see his two sons become joint consuls - an unheard of honour as 
consuls were supposed to keep watch over each other. Even in those 
days the Romans were wary of nepotism and conflict of interest. 

All went well until 523 A.D. when the Emperor began elimin- 
ation of the senators for some real or imagined slight. Tlie crumbling 
Empire suffered these political assassinations quite regularly as its 
centre had gradually slipped over to Constantinople and Northern 
Europe, now growing to be a power on its own. Boethius, as a well 
informed individual was asked if he knew about the so called plot 
and replied that if he had known, the Emperor would never have 
found out. Tliat was enough. He was clapped into prison and knew 
from experience that nothing could save him from a cruel death. 
That was delayed about two years in which he wrote (Tlie Consola- 
tion of Philosophy) as a time filler awaiting his certain execution. 

I am not the only person impressed with the value of this book 
which is still in print. Some 350 years after Boethius's death, Alfred 
the Great had it translated into Old English for his Anglo-Saxon 
subjects; Chaucer and others did it into Middle English. There were 
translations into medieval German, Old French, versions in Greek, 
Middle Dutch, Old Provencal, Italian and Spanish. Later, in the 
sixteenth century. Queen Elizabeth I turned her hand to "Englishing" 
the ^Consolation) [3] According to the reference she claimed to have 
done it in twenty-seven hours. That is difficult to believe. But, who 
would dare to contradict her! I am inclined to think this may have 
made Britain and Northern Europe receptive to Freemasonry and its 
antecedents by that time. 

It is time now to relate Boethius's work to its influence on 
Freemasonry. To fill in his time in prison he imagined he was visited 
by women who personified such human desires as Fame and Fortune. 
Perhaps an ancient Grecian influence from his Athenian schooling 
which might have included an unconscious belief in nymphs. Then 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 81 



suddenly he notices an awe-inspiring woman of superhuman quahtics 
standing at his bedside who peremptorily orders him to get rid of 
these other "hysterical sluts" because she, the new apparition and he 
have known each other for a long time and he is worthy of better 
thoughts. Her name is Philosophy. And from now on they carry on 
an imaginary dialogue about principles which rule many of our lives 
and actions today. 

In one of his imaginary conversations with Philosophy, Boethius 
complains about the wheel of fortune having lost him his position, his 
fortune, access to his library, and utter desertion by his friends.[4] 
She points out that if a wheel does not turn it is no longer a wheel 
and why should he expect to stay at the top while other deserving 
people need the turning wheel of fortune to come into their own. 
Our Masonic lecture in the second degree explicitly mentions he who 
is on the lowest spoke of fortunes wheel. The format is almost a 
quote from the (Consolation) . It does not directly connect to 
Freemasonry as do the Old Charges but seems to me to be an 
inspiration for our Work. 

Boethius was not the first to use the simile of fortune's wheel. 
Cicero who lived almost 600 years earlier was fond of the expression 
according to a footnote in the (Consolation) . Just another example 
of Boethius as an intellectual funnel to gather and then pass the 
wisdom into the future for us. Tliere is no proof that Cicero 
originated the expression. Wheels are believed to have been 
developed about 5,500 years ago. Early carvings seem to indicate that 
they were at first solid discs. Wheels with spokes were probably 
developed in Mesopotamia about 3,000 B.C. Presumably the 
expression "on the lower spoke of fortune's wheel" would have been 
invented after that time. Cicero could have heard of the expression 
from Egyptian sources. We do not know for sure the originator of 
that fine descriptive expression. 

There are many expressions in the (Consolation) which compare 
to similar expressions in Masonic work.Some examples from the 
(Consolation) are: 

(Chance Knowledge 

Evil Luck 

Fate Pleasure 

Fear Power 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 82 



Freedom 


Providence 


Glory 
Good 


Punishment 
Truth 


Grief 


Virtue 


Happiness 
Honour 




Ignorance 
Joy) 





TTien there are phrases which, when one allows for about 1,200 
years adjustment to language, have a familiar ring. Let us examine 
a few: 

(Founded on reason 

Blindness of ignorance 

Execution of the work 

Craftsman 

Circle 

Freedom of the will 

Power of judgement 

Contemplation of the mind of God 

Light of truth 

Darkened by the mists of ignorance 

Slavery 

Supreme providence) 

Now let us examine a few Masonic expressions. Tliese are a 
small list of the many available to anyone familiar with our Work. 

(Communicating happiness 

Paths of happiness 

Cultivation and improvement of the human mind 

Peace and cultivation to the human spirit 

Opens the sources of knowledge 

Widens the sphere of human happiness 

Cultivate and enlighten the mind 

Induce the habit of virtue 

Etc.) 

There is no doubt in my mind that Boethius was one of many 
who made possible our Masonic Order as it quickly developed in the 
Seventeenth Century and became concrete in the early eighteenth 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 83 



century with the formation of a Grand Lodge in 1717 in London, 
England. Our close adherence to that formation then makes us a 
beneficiary of Boethius also. 

Lest I give the impression that all of our advancement depends 
upon the Roman Empire, I shall now bring in other things that seem 
to rise from time immemorial. 

As the Roman Empire began to crumble, and indeed it was well 
on its way when Boethius wrote his last book, poHtical power moved 
to Byzantium and also to the vigorous peoples of Europe lying north 
of Italy. It is not easy to trace the perimeters as power plays 
destroyed all the then known borders between civilization and the so 
called "barbarians". Things were very fluid. But before we come back 
to Europe I should like to look at events in Q)nstantinople where 
religion divided from Rome. It was an opulent era for the Roman 
Empire based in that new eastern city and was greatly engrossed in 
Asia Minor. Word of the success of these new religions became 
known to pagans on their frontiers and Olga, the grandmother of 
Vladimir (Grand Duke of Kievan Russia, 978 to 1015 A.D.) sent 
ambassadors to examine the religions of Rome, Byzantium, Mecca, 
etc. It was her purpose to join the most successful with the hope of 
raising Russian influence and prosperity. Opulence caught her! She 
was convinced. She made the necessary trip to Byzantium and what 
interests us is that she was invited to sit in Solomon's chair. [5] In 
Edward Gibbon's autobiography which was edited and published 
after his death, he makes one fleeting reference to an early paper he 
wrote on the rebuilding of Solomon's Temple in which he regrets 
that he has never been able to find the relative manuscript. I regret 
it too! Nothing more. 

It was shortly after Olga's visit to Constantinople that the city 
and Church of St Sophia fell to the Muslims and has served ever 
since as a mosque for their worship. A description of its take-over 
precludes any possibility of finding Solomon's chair even if it did 
exist when Olga is supposed to have sat in it. 

Now let us move back to Northern Europe. The time is the end 
of the eighth century when Charles the Great, grandson of the man 
who stopped the Moors from advancing further through Spain ruled 
a considerable part of continental Europe. He ruled with an iron 
hand but achieved great advances. One of the things he did was to 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 84 



take over a pagan secret court known as the Vehni Court and 
reorganize it for the advancement of Christianity. [6] 

The author of the paper in the Transactions of the Quator 
Coronati Lodge No 2076, London, of 1906, states there is "No 
prominent point in Masonry which does not find a counterpoint in 
Vehm". The court was opened by question and answer. It was 
important that the court was held on the right day and right time. 
Seven were the minimum to hold a court. A sword or cable tow was 
laid on the bench. The author then goes on to give an extract from 
minutes of Vehm held at Arensburg in 1490: 

(The best and truest must be found as jurymen 
The chairman or judge must prove they knew right from wrong 
They must be inducted in closed secret meetings 
They are questioned and must answer - as Carolus Magnus [that 
is Charles the Great] directed 

They were admonished as to perjury and the punishment to 
expect 

They must take the oath kneeling on the right knee which has 
been laid bare. The left hand is laid upon the rope[cable tow 
used for hanging], two swords laid crosswise. 
Swear to keep secret from wife, child, sand and wind. 
The chairman tells them with covered head, the Vehm secrets 
Tells them the word of distress 
Teaches them the secret salute 

Tells them what belongs to secret and what to open court 
Must pay the chairman 16 schillings and to the scheppen, 
8 schiUings each) 

There were additional requirements. Candidates must be 
educated and begotten rightly from their father and mother. They 
must not be prosecuted by any Justice, nor liable to any attainder. 
They must not be guilty of usurv'. They must not be a street vagab- 
ond, nor a thief, murderer, adulterer, or a blasphemer. They must 
not have sinned against their country's master or authorities. 

There was a severe penalty for breaking the oath. The offender 
would be arrested, his hands tied behind his back, his tongue drawn 
out through his neck, with a skewer put through it. Then he was 
hung seven feet higher than any other evil doer. 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 85 



It would not be proper to leave your thoughts on this cruel past 
human history if I did not revert to my original opening and remind 
you that through all the cruelty of the human race our Order has 
developed a world wide brotherhood of affection for each other and 
happiness for many people. All arising from time immemorial when 
truth and justice were sought by dedicated people, often at great 
sacrifice. 

Perhaps a little more knowledge and pride in our Masonic roots 
and ancient antecedents is worth our best efforts. 



BIBLIOGRAPHY 



1. Giblx^n, Rdward., Tlie Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 
Vol. I pp 143-153 [1788] 

2. Ibid, Vol X, p 45 

3. Boethius, Tlie Consolation of Philosophy Trans. Watts V. E. 
Penguin Books [1969] p 7 

4. Ibid, pp 55-56, also fn. p 56 

5. Rice T. T., Russian Art, p 8; Gibbon, Decline and Fall Vol. 10 
p239 

6. A. Q. C, Vol. 10, pp 31-35 [1906] 



FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL Page No. 86 



REVIEWS OF PAPER PRESENTED TO 
THE HERITAGE LODGE 

May 15, 1991 

by 

V.W. Bro. Allan J. Cohoe 

titled 

FROM TIME IMMEMORIAL 



FIRST REVIEW - was prepared by V.W. Bro. D.W. Clarke. 

This reviewer's imaginalion was quickly stirred by the author's 
proposition regarding the origin of the concepts contained in the Old 
Charges. It was maintained by the conversational and provocative 
style of the text itself. 

As stated, "Tliere is nothing new in my paper", supports that old 
adage, "Tliere is nothing new under the sun". It is the examination 
from a fresh perspective that often gives new light on an old mystery. 
Just the fact that the source material is readily available to all 
Masons enhances the contention; this paper should assist both the 
gifted and the less gifted Masons along the path of research. 

The development of the argument is logical, interesting and easy 
to follow. We may not agree but we can accept, until otherwise 
proven, that the Old Charges could have had their source as 
proposed. 

I had a problem with the rather swift dismissal of the religious 
principles. Its the "chicken and the egg" argument revisited. My 
difficulty is, "Which came first; who spread what"? 

Anyone interested in a differing view might be referred to "A 
New Encyclopedia of Freemasonry" by Arthur Edward Waite pp. 
135-149. 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 87 



Some intriguing questions arose in this reviewer's mind during 
the perusal of this essay. 

Is there a parallel between some of the problems our fraternity 
faces today and the decline of the Pythagorean associations when 
they became involved in "political" ventures. 

The word "benign" is interesting. Was the influence gentle, kind 
and favourable? 

Are the three levels of Pythagoras a reflection of his culture and 
society: are they a reflection of ours? 

In summary I would pose one further question. Tlie author has 
proposed that the Old Charges did not likely arise from nothing and 
proceeds to suggest a source. Since I have a problem with visions, 
could there be a source that predates the author's and could his 
sources have merely been the messenger? 

D.W. Clarke 

SECOND REVIEW - was prepared by W. Bro. Peter M. Floyd, 
a Charter Member of The Heritage Lodge. 

It is my duty to offer criticism of the research paper presented 
by V.W. Bro. Cohoe, and it is criticism with specific purposes: 
matters that I consider incorrect or disagree with will be identified. 
But the more important purpose of the criticism is to draw just a 
Httle more information from the respected researcher concerning the 
subject that he has chosen, and on behalf of everyone, to play the 
role of the friendly parliamentarian whose question grants the 
Minister opportunity for more speaking time than he would otherw- 
ise, in all good conscience, feel entitled to. 

Firstly, we must ask what you mean by the word 'freemasonry', 
since that definition determines how you should treat your informat- 
ion. You seem to consider everything that is of a civilizing nature as 
a contribution to masonry, or is your definition more precise? 

Secondly, the Old Charges and other references seem to support 
your claim for the early influence of Pythagoras on our history. I am 
pleased to agree with that contention. 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 88 




Tlie reference to fortunes wheel reminds me of tlie book "Kim" 
by Rudyard Kipling, the story of a 'Lewis', by a Mason. You will 
recall that he became for a time the disciple of an aged Bhuddist 
monk, travelling in search of his salvation and release from 'the 
wheel'. I wonder if contact by pilgrims with the Bhudda sites of 
North East India might have occurred from the 6th century B.( . I 
am told that many ancient carvings from those days represent the 
Bhudda by a tree, a wheel and a miniature stupa, (small hill). 
(According to the encyclopedia, the strange stupa cult were 'pre- 
occupied with human relics', and the stupa represented nirvana, a 
state of perfect bliss achieved by the soul). Could the wheel, or 
fortunes wheel, also once have been an obscure allusion to the wheel 
of reincarnation? 

With reference to Boethius, in the difficult life of medieval 
times sources of consolation must have been helpful. Acceptance of 
ones fate and hope of a future life beyond the human state must 
have indeed carried great 'consolation', as promised by his title, 
"Consolation of Philosophy". 

Boethius became noted as a Catholic Tlieologian, comparable 
to St. Augustine and was nearly sainted. He was a remarkable 
individual. But it appears that his prison writings were Platonic, not 
Christian. I would ask wether we are recognizing Boethius or Plato 
speaking through Boethius, and to what extent do you consider 
Platonic philosophy masonic? 

The mention of Olga (or Helga) has interesting connotations. 
She was said to be the first female ruler of Russia, and the first 
member of their ruling family to adopt Christianity. It is recounted 
that her husband was assassinated. Olga, later St. Olga, promptly had 
several hundred people killed and the immediate assassins scalded to 
death. 

Anyway, the chair, or throne, that she allegedly sat in must have 
been an impressive structure, said to have bulls adorning its arms and 
supported on lions. Is there not some possibility that there could yet 
be unidentified fragments somewhere? 

Concerning the Vehm (Vee-hemm) Court: I note the aspect 
that "the best and truest must be found as jurymen". This seems to 
imply a seeking out of suitable members, rather than an indiscrimi- 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 89 



nate coming fonvard of their own free will and accord, and that ihey 
were selected before being inducted. Tlie joining method thus differs 
somewhat from our system. 

Black's Law Dictionary, (1968), defines them (with spelling 
variation), as follows: 

"Femgerichte (Feem-Ger-icht) - Tlie name given to certain secret 
tribunals which flourished in Germany from end of 12th century to 
middle of 16th, usurping many of the functions of the governments 
which were too weak to maintain law and order and inspiring dread 
in all who came within their jurisdiction. Such a court existed in 
Westphalia (though with greatly diminished powers) until finally 
suppressed by Jerome Bonaparte." 

I would guess that there are parallels to the Star Chamber, 
which existed in England from the 15th century until abolished in 
1641, "characterized by secrecy and often irresponsibly arbitrary and 
oppressive." 

Our Masonry, descending from the Grand Lodge of England, 
goes to great lengths to avoid accusations of usurping government 
powers, rather we are supporters of law and order. We are scrupu- 
lously careful to notify of the exact meeting times and dates and the 
summons particulars are always read out to assure exact conformity 
with the stated purpose. Display of Minutes, Constitution, By-Laws 
and Charter further emphasb.e that legality and freedom from 
sinister purposes and complete conformity with the laws of the land. 
Tylcd meetings - Yes, Secrete meetings - No!. And certainly not 
secret government powers. 

Mention of the severe penalty for violating the Vehm oath 
reminds of the cruelty of which the human race is capable and also 
that attitudes to such punishments can change rapidly. For example, 
the consequences of acts of perceived rebellion, in Canada, in less 
than 100 years have varied from "a short shrift and a long rope" to 
a few months holiday in Cuba. No doubt the pendulum will swing 
back to increased severity quickly enough if a real threat to the 
country is perceived. And, as with some of the earlier cruel punishm- 
ents, some will no doubt be administered by Masons who are not 
doing their duty. So any 'cruel'- 'non cruel' definition must include 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 90 



masons in both ihc cruel and un-crucl camps. Wc llicrcforc cannot 
always define masons on that basis. 

Also, has Masonry really had a gradual growth paralleling the 
growth of civilization? Or, did it appear in some short interval of 
time, there being no masonry prior to that and masonry being fully 
in existence thereafter. For example, "Freemasonry from its origin to 
the present time, in all its vicissitudes has been the steady, unvarying 
etc. etc." lliat suggests that a whole package that was recognizable 
as masonry existed right from a specific start or origin, nothing 
gradual about that. 

One might not have difficulty with such a concept, based on the 
examples of various other ethical systems, where some prophet 
outlines a body of ethics and belief in a short time. 

Finally, you gave us the term 'Time Immemorial', and gained 
our interCvSt, and then adroitly diverted our attention to other matters 
occurring since then. We are still entitled to ask your opinion of that 
primeval time. Was it a time of disorder and chaos, or a time of 
noble savages, or a time when gods and giants and heroes walked on 
earth, or a time of Divine revelation, etc. etc. 

We beg your response to some of the questions and comments 
suggested by your research and express our appreciation for your 
interesting and thought provoking paper which has sent us back to 
the Classics and to a re-examination of the origins of our Craft. 

Peter M. Floyd 



RESPONSE TO REVIEWERS 

by 

V.W. Bro. Allan J. Cohoe 

I must first thank the commentators for their work on my paper. 
It is a clarifying experience and assists me to re-think some of my 
first ideas. I accept any compliments with humility. Any suspicion 
that I attempt to redraw Freemasonry is denied. Tliere has been no 
effort on my part to bring Boethius' philosophy into our Order. Ideas 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 91 



and thoughts which might flow from his words and phrases must be 
in the mind of the Ustener or reader. 

V.W. Bro. Clarke chides me on the swift dismissal of religious 
principles. I can only reply that religion as well as politics is not, in 
my opinion, a subject for a Masonic Lodge. Many religions teach the 
existence of a Supreme Being, the base from which we operate. 
Beyond that simple statement they have many variations which can 
only break up our universal brotherhood if brought into Lodge. 

As to the benign influence of the Arabic world, can you imagine 
where we would be with computers today under Roman numerals. 
Great human release from drudgery in the banking world which I 
know well, has come from computers. That is only the latest in 
numerous benefits. The Arabs seem to have discovered acids and 
alkalis, the start of immense chemical advantages we all enjoy now. 

Finally Bro. Clarke challenges me to pursue further sources into 
the real origin of these ideas. Tliat is for the next generation of 
researchers. I suggest Bro. Clarke is an ideal candidate for such 
work! 

W. Bro. Floyd asks me to define Freemasonry. I leave that to 
each Mason. Change may be necessary to keep up with language 
changes and human progress otherwise I like it the way it is. 

His "wheel of fortune" reference is a valuable addition to our 
mysterious past which we cannot remember. As the Indo-European 
language is parent to most Western European languages, the 
connection is reasonable. 

Bro. Floyd*s reference to Boethius, Plato and Pythagoras as 
thought provokers may interest others to go further into this as 
individuals. I only suggest that from them Freemasonry took what 
suited the Masons in the formation years and so our Work developed 
in the 18th century. As we enter the 21st century adjustments may be 
needed. Some reference to the origins of ideas could be helpful in 
such work. His comments about Boethius' religious writings reminds 
me that after introduction of Christianity into the Roman Empire, 
anyone in places of authority was compelled to give at least lip 
service to the new religion. Boethius did defend the Roman Church 
against Arians, Eutychians and Nestorians, who had caused bitter 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 92 



quarrels between Rome and Byzantium, llie resulting death toll 
amongst some of these free thinkers was terril'jle, 

Solomon's chair, if it was in Constantinople, went through a 
sacking and pillage by the Crusade of 1202 and annihilation in the 
Muslim conquest of 1453. The search for it will call for diligence and 
linguistic skills I lack. 

I appreciate Bro. Floyd's peripheral and enriching conmicnts as 
to conditions which shaped human efforts in various periods 
mentioned in my paper. 

A.J. Cohoe 

THE BEACON-LIGHT 

A cU\\ set wpoH ^i Viill. 

Cannot be U\b: 
Expofcb to cvcrv^ cvfc. it will. 
Over surrouy^tyiyx^ pl^fn e^vib vaIc. 

Ah InflwcHcc sUct>, 
Af1^ gprcAb tlic li5lit of pcACc si^<r, 
Or blf5Vit tVic l^Mb wHli liorrib vv^r. 

EacIi Masoh's lob5C H pl^Htcb $o» 

for lii5V» i>t$plAv^: 
EAcVt \s A DcAC0H-li5lit. to show 
Life's wc^rvj WAHbcrcrs, as tUcx\ 50. 

The better wav^: 
To sliow hv\ ties of e^rtVilvf love. 
How perfect is tUe Lob5e Above! 

Be tViis vf0V4r williH5 tAsU, be^r frie>1^s. 

Willie lAboriH5 liere: 
Borrow irofy\ Him wlio Uinblv^ letibs 
TVie HeAvenlvf LA^^er tViAt Ascenbs 

The Vii5lier spViere: 
AH^ let tlie worlb x^our progress see, 
VpwArb, bvj fAltVi, Hope, CVi^ritv^. 

Rob Morris* 

* Masonic Odes and Poems by Rob Morris, published by the Masonic Book Club, 
1990. 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 93 



OUR DEPARTED BRETHREN 

The following names of deceased members of Tlie Heritage 
Lodge No. 730, G.R.C., have come to our attention during the past 
year. 

W. Bro. John R. Castle 

Scarborough 

Sunnyside Lodge No. 582 

Died in February or March, 1989. 

(No details supplied) 

W. Bro. John Haggeaty 

Shellwurne 
Lome Lodge No. 377 
Died October 6, 1990. 

W. Bro. Ralph E. Mercer 

Midhurst 

Kempenfeldt Lodge No. 673 

Died January 21, 1990. 

V.W. Bro. Bertram F. Wiggins 

Don Mills 

Georgina Lodge No. 343 

Died January 5, 1991. 

Dust to dust, the dark decree - 
Soul to God, the soul is free! 
Leave them with the lowly lain' - 
Brethren, we shall meet again! 

Paraphrased from Rob Morris 



From Time Immemorial Page No. 94 



GRAND LODGE OFFICERS (1990 - 1991) 

The Most Worshipful The Grand Master 

M.W. Bro. David C. Bradley 

81 Hillsdale Ave. W., 
Toronto, Ontario, M5P 1G2 

The Deputy Grand Master 

R.W. Bro. Norman E. Byrne 

166 John Street South, 
Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 2C4 

The Grand Secretary 

M.W. Bro. Robert E. Davies 

P.O. Box 217, 
Hamilton, Ontario, L8N 3C9 



THE HERITAGE 

Wor. Master 
Imm. Past Master 
Senior Warden 
Junior Warden 
Chaplain 
Treasurer 
Secretary 

Assistant Secretary 
Senioe Deacon 
Junior Deacon 
Dir. of Ceremonies 
Inner Guard 
Senior Steward 
Junior Steward 
Tyler 
Organist 
Historian 



LODGE OFFICERS (1990 - 1991) 

R.W. Bro. Wilfred T. Greenhough 

V.W. Bro. Donald B. Kaufman 

R.W. Bro. Frank Dunn 

W. Bro. Stephen Maizels 

R.W. Bro. Rev. R. Cerwun Davies 

R.W. Bro. Duncan J. McFadgen 

R.W. Bro. Rev. W. Gray Rivers 

V.W. Bro. George F. Moore 

W. Bro. David Fletcher 

R.W. Bro. Kenneth L. Whiting 

R.W. Bro. Edmund V. Ralph 

W. Bro. Thomas Crowley 

R.W. Bro. Larry Hostine 

W. Bro. George Napper 

R.W. Bro. E.G. (Ted) Burton 

R.W. Bro. Leonard Hertel 

R.W. Bro. Fred R. Branscombe 



OFFICERS. CHAIRMEN. ETC. 



Page No. 95 



CHAIRMEN - LODGE COMMITTEES (1990-1991) 



Archivist, 

Editor, 

Masonic Information, 

Curator & Archivist, 

Librarian, 

Graphics, 

Finance & By-Laws, 

Membership, 

Black Creek Heritage 

Publications, 

Special Events, 

Liaskas Paintings, 

Auditor: 



To be appointed 

R.W. Bro. Jacob (Jack) Pos 

R.W. Bro. Robert S. Throop 

R.W. Bro. Edmund V. Ralph 

R.W. Bro. John Storey 

Br. Basil Liaskas 

W. Bro. Donald Thornton 

To be appointed 

V.W. Bro. Allan D. Hogg 

R.W. Bro. Balfour LeGresley 

R.W. Bro. Jack MacKenzie 

R.W. Bro. Frank G. Dunn 

- R.W. Bro. Kenneth Bartlett 

- R.W. Bro. James Curtis 



THE HERITAGE CORPORATION 

President, Jack Pos 

Vice-President, Allan Hogg 

Secretary/Treasurer Donald Kaufman 

PAST MASTERS 



R.W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
M.W. Bro 
V.W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
M.W. Bro 
R.W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
R.W. Bro. 
V.W. Bro. 



Jack Pos 
Keith Flynn 
Donald G.S. Grinton 
Ronald E. Groshaw 
George E. Zwicker 
Balfour LeGresley 

. David C. Bradley 
C. Edwin Drew 
Robert S. Throop 

Albert A. Barker 
Edsel C. Steen 
Edmund V. Ralph 
Donald B. Kaufman 



1977-78 
1979 
1980 
1981 
1982 
1983 
1984 
1985 
1986 
1987 
1988 
1889 
1990 



OFFICERS. CHAIRMEN. ETC. 



Page No. 96 



THE HERITAGE LODGE NO. 730 
A. F. & A. M., G.R.C. 

Instituted: September 21, 1977 
Constituted: September 23, 1978 



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